Thursday, October 26, 2006

Commentary: Text Messaging Will Destroy Language: LOL

Sigh, what fools these mortals be, with my sincere apology to the Bard. I recently read a discussion question posed on the Living Classroom Symposium Forum which included '...Well, at one of these events, one the engineers was asked to present how he had been using the online environment in his teaching. During his presentation, he showed a few example of postings on the discussion board. It so happens that in some of them, the students had used 'txt'. A communications lecturer in the audience who had been asked to attend by her manager got very upset and to her this was totally unacceptable.' The question on the forum was '...Businesses have adopted strategies such as inforcing spellchecks on all emails that leave thier company so as to maintain a professional standard. Should we in education do the same?' (Question from Hasmeeta Shukla, Auckland, New Zealand)

Now, I happen to be a fervent proponent of proper language. I also text message daily, and use the shorthand with abandon. So I responded to the question this way:

"I absolutely disagree with your Communications lecturer. Discussion boards are a form of communication, and putting up barriers to that communication is counter-productive. Students today communicate in very different formats: text messaging, emoticons, SMS text messaging shorthand ('r u ready?') etc. Some phrases, such as SWAK (sealed with a kiss) have been used for decades, and have not caused irreparable harm. Language is fluid and adaptive to cultural influence. Chill...if the language hasn't been broken yet, it's likely to survive. This is no different an argument than the fear that calculators would cause students to lose the ability to add or subtract.

Still not convinced? Then do tell why we no longer speak as did Petruccio and Kate in Shakespeare's Taming of the Shrew:

Petruccio: Come, come, you wasp, i’faith you are too angry.
Katherine: If I be waspish, best beware my sting.
Petruccio: My remedy is then to pluck it out.
Katherine: Ay, if the fool could find where it lies.
Petruccio: Who knows not where a wasp does wear his sting? In his tail.
Katherine: In his tongue.
Petruccio: Whose tongue?
Katherine: Yours, if you talk of tales, and so farewell.
Petruccio: What, with my tongue in your tail?
So, should we ban the teaching of Shakespearean Literature? Methinks not.

FYI (for your information): I would respectfully suggest that the Communications lecturer realize that we have btdt (been there, done that) and pay attention to the FAQ's (frequently asked questions) that linguists have grappled with for centuries, and frankly.the lecturer should do so asap (as soon as possible) cuz (because) it's eod (end of discussion) LOL (laughing out loud). Oh, and TGIF (thank goodness it's Friday), or it will be, soon."

So, what do you think? Should educators police discussion boards?
You can follow the discussion on this topic on the Living Classroom site, or post your comment on this blog. Just do it asap.

Symposium 2 Forum address: ( )

Saturday, October 21, 2006

The Living Classroom Symposium 2

This is a wonderful site for sharing information on educational technology. Participants from all over the world weigh in on what makes technology work in education. You can register for free, and join any of the topic streams, or start one of your own.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

General: Test Anxiety
Some done to earth ideas on dealing with test anxiety for teens and adults.

Additional sites on test anxiety: dents/improving/test%20anxiety.htm
This is a compilation site, which also has a lot of good information about study habits,
techniques, financial aid, selecting a college etc.
Great site!

General: ACT Test Scores

Some students ask about how to interpret test scores. Here is a useful site explaining the ACT test scores individually and as a ranked group. Good information on college admission requirements, how colleges decide how to admit students etc.

GED: Geometry Cool

Calculators, graphing calculators, lessons in Algebra and Geometry done in a very user friendly format. There is also a section on how to be a successful student, how to study for a math test, and some flat out cool math.

GED: Geometry

Basic geometry terms and help. Brought to you by Math League Multimedia.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Spanish GED Websites Cultural Resources for Hispanic and Latino Americans Authentic American Pronunciation Spanish Glossary of Mathematical Terms Virtual Spanish Lab: Online Dictionaries, Vocabulary etc. Apuntes, ejercicios, exámenes, enlaces, un tema de matemáticas cada quincena, un consultorio, algo de historia, diccionario, etc. Dave's Math Tables in Spanish : Matemáticas Generales Notación de Números Tabla de Sumas Tabla de Multiplicación
Álgebra Identidades Básicas Secciones Cónicas Polinomiales Exponenciales Curvas de Álgebra
Geometría Áreas, Volúmenes, Áreas de Superficies Círculos : English/Spanish dictionary of math tables.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

ESL/ABE/GED: Spanish and English Basic Computer Ayuda!

If you are looking for some basic information on computers in both English and Spanish, this site may help. Go to the main site for more choices: