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Education Microsoft

Microsoft To Teachers: Using Pens and Paper Not Fair To Students 387

Freshly Exhumed writes: Pens and paper have no place in the modern classroom, according to Lia De Cicco Remu, director of Partners in Learning at Microsoft Canada. "When was the last time you used a piece of chalk to express yourself?" De Cicco Remu, a former teacher, asked the Georgia Straight by phone from Toronto. "Kids don't express themselves with chalk or in cursive. Kids text." Given the Microsoft Study Finds Technology Hurting Attention Spans story posted to Slashdot in the last few days it would seem that Redmond's Marketing and R&D people are at cross-purposes.
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Microsoft To Teachers: Using Pens and Paper Not Fair To Students

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  • by bigtomrodney ( 993427 ) on Tuesday May 19, 2015 @07:31AM (#49724665)
    I've never considered the sales and marketing people to be the smartest part of any organisation. They have a limited scope of action and limited deliverables. Calling this out is right. I wonder if they also think children should stop learning maths as we all have calculators - or more likely that we all have calc.exe.
    • by geekmux ( 1040042 ) on Tuesday May 19, 2015 @07:43AM (#49724729)

      I've never considered the sales and marketing people to be the smartest part of any organisation. They have a limited scope of action and limited deliverables. Calling this out is right. I wonder if they also think children should stop learning maths as we all have calculators - or more likely that we all have calc.exe.

      Might as well cull out arts and humanities too. Those have no place in the modern workforce because you know, Picasso painted with a real brush, and Shakespeare wrote on actual paper. No one expresses themselves with that shit anymore...

      • by bigtomrodney ( 993427 ) on Tuesday May 19, 2015 @08:18AM (#49724875)
        When your brief is simply sell and your output is "Ah sure no one should use pens any more, buy our product" you can either stand over it or recognise the base nature of what you've done. Your argument about creativity really can't reasonably apply here. The output is by nature not of substantial creativity but rather the narrowly interpreted result of a functional requirement.
      • Texting Maths (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Roger W Moore ( 538166 ) on Tuesday May 19, 2015 @09:45AM (#49725427) Journal
        Actually, ironically, one of the best reasons to use pen and paper is for maths. It's rather hard to express matrices, vectors, integrals etc. in a text message. You need LaTeX and a graphical display and its a lot slower than pen and paper. An equation editor is even slower.
        • There are better ways to do math, but not better ways to teach math. I don't mean calculators, either; I can do simple derivatives in my head--for some definition of "simple" up to and including the chain rule--using the methods we all know from our first week of calculus in high school. Somebody had to write that shit down, first, even though I can compute it mentally.

          The soroban will teach you to do mental arithmetic; mnemonics and deep mnemonic interconnection will help you learn algebra and geometry;

        • by creimer ( 824291 )
          Math is a lot easier with pencils and erasers.
      • I just glad I got the in-school Brawndo concession signed before they took away all the pens.

      • by samwichse ( 1056268 ) on Tuesday May 19, 2015 @01:04PM (#49727365)

        "No offense intended, but it would never occur to me to look for the best minds in any generation in an undergraduate English department anywhere. I would certainly try the physics department or the music department first -- and after that biochemistry. Everybody knows that the dumbest people in any American university are in the education department, and English after that."

        --Kurt Vonnegut

    • by sjbe ( 173966 ) on Tuesday May 19, 2015 @08:00AM (#49724807)

      I've never considered the sales and marketing people to be the smartest part of any organisation.

      Then you haven't actually tried to do what they do and certainly don't understand it. My guess is that you'd fail rather badly if you tried. Companies like Coca-Cola, Johnson & Johnson, Proctor & Gamble and the like didn't get to the size they are because they had idiots in the sales and marketing departments. I've worked directly with some of the marketing folks at Proctor and Gamble and they are exceptionally bright and very good at their job. Sure there are plenty of idiots out there too but saying all sales and marketing people are dumb is just as idiotic as saying all engineers are brilliant. Both statements are demonstrably false.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        You seem to make no distinction between "being a large company" and "being a benevolent company staffed by people who are not idiots"

        I for one take exception to that and view the two as more-or-less mutually exclusive.

      • But "not being the smartest" is not the same thing as "being the dumbest". No one said they were idiots.
        • by sjbe ( 173966 )

          But "not being the smartest" is not the same thing as "being the dumbest". No one said they were idiots.

          Are you seriously going to argue that it wasn't at least implied that sales and marketing folks aren't very bright? On slashdot that's a fairly standard attitude and the OP didn't exactly go out of the way to say otherwise.

          • by bigtomrodney ( 993427 ) on Tuesday May 19, 2015 @11:34AM (#49726417)
            I am the OP and what I said was

            They have a limited scope of action and limited deliverables.

            Successful or not I was trying to call out the shortcomings of the role rather than the people working in it.

            Every day I talk to project managers who probably do an excellent job meeting their deliverables and will be rated very well for doing so. Unfortunately what they do isn't the right thing but what they were asked to do. There's no reward for doing the right thing even if it's value-add. That same point is what I was trying to illustrate with my comment; the output seen here is the perfect manifestation of that kind of attitude.

      • by king neckbeard ( 1801738 ) on Tuesday May 19, 2015 @08:23AM (#49724905)
        In all fairness, the sales and marketing folks just have to be smarter than the general public/potential customers (typically a low bar), and aren't always entirely honest. More importantly, their domain of expertise is not in how things actually work, but in how to sell something to someone, so paying them heed in regards to public policy is probably not wise.
        • by rogoshen1 ( 2922505 ) on Tuesday May 19, 2015 @09:18AM (#49725239)

          When their bottom line comes at the expense of society as a whole... In this case, fucking over a generation or two of kids with the naive, bullshit assumption that teaching techniques and implements that have been around since basically forever are outmoded and need to be replaced -- is a huge problem.

          In what universe is the combination of decreased school budgets coupled with corporate interests pushing technological solutions a good thing?

        • In all fairness, the sales and marketing folks just have to be smarter than the general public/potential customers (typically a low bar), and aren't always entirely honest.

          So you are saying they have to be smarter than average by definition. Curious argument you have there.

          More importantly, their domain of expertise is not in how things actually work, but in how to sell something to someone, so paying them heed in regards to public policy is probably not wise.

          I work with sales people on a daily basis. They know quite well how things actually work and more than a few of them are engineers by training. The sales reps for my company all have engineering degrees and are probably more competent with CAD and product design than 99% of the people reading this. The sales reps that sell equipment to my company know in exquisite detail how their products work and are

          • Re:Sales people do (Score:5, Insightful)

            by dimeglio ( 456244 ) on Tuesday May 19, 2015 @09:43AM (#49725403)
            It's not about what they know, it's about their credibility in opinions such as above. In this case, Microsoft is simply pushing their agenda instead of really looking out for students. I'm all for exposing kids to technology the right way. It's not about replacing chalk, pen, pencil and paper with electronics but using electronics where it makes sense.
      • I've never considered the sales and marketing people to be the smartest part of any organisation.

        Then you haven't actually tried to do what they do and certainly don't understand it. My guess is that you'd fail rather badly if you tried. Companies like Coca-Cola, Johnson & Johnson, Proctor & Gamble and the like didn't get to the size they are because they had idiots in the sales and marketing departments. I've worked directly with some of the marketing folks at Proctor and Gamble and they are exceptionally bright and very good at their job. Sure there are plenty of idiots out there too but saying all sales and marketing people are dumb is just as idiotic as saying all engineers are brilliant. Both statements are demonstrably false.

        Marketing folks don't have to be good at the job they are supposed to do. They just have to be good at the job of convincing you that they are good at the job they are supposed to do. And at that they are quite good.

      • by swb ( 14022 )

        I think this bias comes largely from IT workers who have to deal with rank and file marketing employees who are often clueless when it comes to a lot of technology.

        I'm sure I too am biased because of this, but it also seems like your low-level IT employee has more practical intelligence than a lot of low-level marketing employees who seem to trade on good looks and social skills versus any specific practical skill or insight with marketing, at least at the undergrad-only level of education.

        The thing is, for

        • I think this bias comes largely from IT workers who have to deal with rank and file marketing employees who are often clueless when it comes to a lot of technology.

          And I assure you this bias works the other way around. Finance and accounting people think that IT workers are utterly clueless morons when it comes to money. Sales and marketing people thing IT people have no concept of what their customers actually care about and no idea how to talk to another human being. Everyone tends to think their job is the hardest and that no one else really gets what they do.

          I'm sure I too am biased because of this, but it also seems like your low-level IT employee has more practical intelligence than a lot of low-level marketing employees who seem to trade on good looks and social skills versus any specific practical skill or insight with marketing, at least at the undergrad-only level of education.

          Their error is generally that they think their abilities in IT actually mean they are smarter when in ac

    • by OzPeter ( 195038 )

      I've never considered the sales and marketing people to be the smartest part of any organisation. They have a limited scope of action and limited deliverables.

      Yet without sales and marketing you have no revenue and your whole business grinds to a halt.

      • I've never considered the sales and marketing people to be the smartest part of any organisation. They have a limited scope of action and limited deliverables.

        Yet without sales and marketing you have no revenue and your whole business grinds to a halt.

        This is always a conundrum to me. If you spend no money at all on marketing, you get no customers and your business grinds to a halt. Yet, for every dollar you spend on marketing, the return is only pennies on the dollar.

    • Somewhat tangential. A while ago I worked in the Computer Lab for my College's Department of Physics, Math, and Computer Science. There was a student who asked me if we had a calculator. Figuring that it was a student who was taking the remedial math classes, I showed him that there was the calculator app in windows. Then I went to his computer to show him where it was, he had Maple (Kinda like MatLab, a sophisticated math software package) open, often used for Linear Algebra and Matrix Theory (Was abl

    • by catchblue22 ( 1004569 ) on Tuesday May 19, 2015 @09:42AM (#49725395) Homepage

      Try to do calculus problems without pen and paper. Would Microsoft suggest using MS Word Equation Editor?! Just give me a minute while I swallow my vomit. Ok, I'm fine now.

      I'm a LaTeX aficionado. I do quite a reasonable amount of math type-setting. I use LaTeX because the output looks amazing, and because I can use my keyboard alone, instead of having to click on menus and buttons. However, it is still an order of magnitude slower than good old fashioned hand-written problem solving.

      • I use paper and pencil when I try to work out anything. Many mathematicians use chalk and a blackboard, or pens and a whiteboard too. I asked Fields medallist Cédric Villani when he was last at the RI whether he could see a computer replacing writing stuff by hand when thinking, or explaining, and he said he could not think of anything that was as good for him or anyone he knew. I am not saying that we could not make such a tool, but he's a lot younger than I am and he seems to think the same. We like
    • by Jaywalk ( 94910 ) on Tuesday May 19, 2015 @09:48AM (#49725441) Homepage
      It doesn't take long on Google to come up with a potload of studies with the same conclusion:

      My wife is a teacher and every couple of years some numbskulled administrator comes up with another brainstorm that boils down to thinking that throwing some more computers into the mix will fix everything. Of course computers are going to be part of these kids' world, so they need to learn about them, but figuring that kids learn better just because a computer is in front of them is a wrong-headed notion that's not borne out by the research.

    • by Evtim ( 1022085 ) on Tuesday May 19, 2015 @12:27PM (#49726965)

      Funny....today at work some colleagues with kids were discussing an article stating that you think better and remember better when you write by hand because it is more difficult in general [and slower] than typing. Broad analogy would be taking a photo with digital camera or an analogue one. When you can make hundreds of photo with minimal effort and cost you produce way more bad photos than when you know you just have 32 frames and that's that.

      The discussion started because I quoted a statement from a book that poets need to carve in stone - then they WILL learn to say a lot with few words, which is what poetry is...

      Horay for another wave of dumbing down of our kids and grand kids in the name of profit!

  • Stupid (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Karmashock ( 2415832 ) on Tuesday May 19, 2015 @07:33AM (#49724673)

    chalkboards and whiteboards are entirely reasonable in lectures and are still used in modern settings in business all the time.

    Go into a lot of meeting rooms and you're gong to find a whiteboard which is basically the same thing as a chalkboard.

    This notion that you have to use technology for everything is goofy.. and frankly I suspect they might be trying to sell us something rather than giving good advice.

    • Re:Stupid (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 19, 2015 @07:41AM (#49724717)

      No doubt, at my office, close to 100% of architectural design is done on whiteboards and later transferred to a digital document. Having just finished my time going back to school, all my homework had to be typed up to be handed in, so I always did it all with pen and paper and then again, transferred it to digital form after finishing. Computers are too structured to allow the free flow thinking needed to solve a problem. The only thing close to good enough is digital paper, where you have a stylus and a canvas that lets you write on it just like a piece of paper with a pen. But paying $500 to be a digital replacement for something the costs $1.50 doesn't really make much sense.

    • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

      by edittard ( 805475 )
      Witeboards are racist. So are blackboards, which is what chalkboards were called before 1886.
      • by l3v1 ( 787564 )
        "Witeboards are racist. So are blackboards"

        Well, in all the schools I've attended, the boards' colors were either green or black, and they were always called ...(wait for it)...boards, oh the surprise :)

        Anyway, the starting post is BS. Boards (of any color :) ) are extremely helpful and useful. That doesn't mean they have to be 'analog', I've seen quite nice digital boards as well.
      • by Lumpy ( 12016 )

        I fully support requiring the use of 50% grey boards with 50% grey chalk to support Unity and fairness!

      • Witeboards

        Are they called that because you wite on them so people can wead it?

    • Yes, "chalkboards/whiteboards/etc are entirely reasonable in schools/businesses/etc", but they can be non-electronic (just fine - simple and cheap, i used them as child in school, still use them in business) or electronic (even better - used as the non-electronic, plus can display interactive multimedia and/or typed input) - i don't believe that "you have to use technology for everything" but IF you can use something better... why not?

      De Cicco Remu, as "director of Partners in Learning at Microsoft Canada"

      • If you have an existing system that is as good as a more expensive electronic option then you would be foolish to replace the existing system.

        Chalkboards and whiteboards are fine. They're entirely modern and you'll find them in use in modern business and modern academic settings at the HIGHEST level. Suggesting that this system is stiffing to young minds is an insult to our intelligence.

        As to something better... their technology isn't better. It is just more expensive and locks schools into buying things fr

    • Re:Stupid (Score:4, Informative)

      by Monoman ( 8745 ) on Tuesday May 19, 2015 @08:58AM (#49725081) Homepage

      They are trying to sell the MS Surface Hub - https://www.microsoft.com/micr... [microsoft.com]

      I'll stick to the whiteboard for now.

    • I can drive by the skate park and see all kinds of chalk expression {and spray paint}. I use a whiteboard all the time to outline projects... I suppose I could use the pc but then it wouldn't be 5 feet tall and in my face. I suspect you are correct, she is simply trying to make a sell.

    • >same thing as a chalkboard.

      Except that chalk physically make me ill when I hear the sound. (I'm serious, and I'm not talking about fingernails on a board.)

      Apparently, I'm not alone as many sounds from the 2 to 5 KHz range are found to be unpleasant.

      http://psychologyofpain.blogsp... [blogspot.com]
  • by paiute ( 550198 ) on Tuesday May 19, 2015 @07:33AM (#49724679)
    Hammer salesman: See that problem? That's a nail. Over there? Another nail. Got a question? Nail.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 19, 2015 @07:40AM (#49724711)

    Indeed it is not fair to deny children the virtues of Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel and Microsoft PowerPoint. Every kid should have the right to express their ideas through these masterpieces of technology while communicating with others through Microsoft OneDrive, Microsoft SharePoint and Microsoft Skype on their Microsoft Surface.
     
    Think of the children! What will happen to them when we are constantly punishing them by moving a pen on a paper? Maybe they will start taking notes on real paper instead of Microsoft OneNote, the horror. Think of what will happen when they are forced to work with those life-threatening paper books! They could consume information without the safety of Microsoft Windows!

    Please safe our future generation and give out children Microsoft Everything!

  • by Guy From V ( 1453391 ) on Tuesday May 19, 2015 @07:46AM (#49724747) Homepage

    At least the lumber, plastic and ink industry don't collude with each other and the state or have a capitalist billionaire visionary with a crypto-communist penchant. As far as I know anyway.

    • And you've never seen the requirement for a #2 pencil? Did you know that the manufacturers who created the #1 pencil were put out of business by the systematic collusion to allow only #2 pencils? #3 pencils, when they were invented, couldn't get a foothold the monopoly was so strong. It's a goddamned racket. ;-)

      • You know it my brother, you hold up a Ticonderoga and look at the number/shape/color combination labeling and you can tell which have slightly radioactive graphite used to trace people. But they only radiate in pulses at certain times of the day that I've made a log of. You can easily use your smartphone to detect them...I've got some literature you might be interested in...

      • And you've never seen the requirement for a #2 pencil? Did you know that the manufacturers who created the #1 pencil were put out of business by the systematic collusion to allow only #2 pencils? #3 pencils, when they were invented, couldn't get a foothold the monopoly was so strong. It's a goddamned racket. ;-)

        While I appreciate the sarcasm and humor in your post, there is a grain of truth to it. The British used to flood their graphite mines to prevent mining after the quota was met and strictly monitor miners going in and out. It's hard to believe but graphite was considered strategic and the UK had the world's best. There is a good book, called The Pencil: A History of Design and Circumstance, by Petroski, that details its history.

  • by eibhear ( 307877 ) on Tuesday May 19, 2015 @07:49AM (#49724757) Homepage

    It has been well established for many years now that both learning and using "cursive" writing (I know it as "joined" writing) is important for the development of young brains.

    For example: http://davidsortino.blogs.pres... [pressdemocrat.com]

    This is irresponsible marketing, and with continuing cuts in education, stands a very good chance of not being challenged by educators before politicians base policy on it.

  • What a complete crock of excrement. I am amazed at the stupidity of these people. I wonder if they have ever used a whiteboard or had to take impromptu notes in a meeting. We as a society are dumbing down the curriculum to such a point that many kids today are no longer required to be able to do basic arithmetic with the excuse of "They will have access to a calculator, so it's not important." Spelling requirements are just as bad with multiple choice spelling tests along with the excuse of "They will h
    • by jbengt ( 874751 )

      She highlighted Office 365 and OneNote as Microsoft products well-suited for the classroom.

      Case closed.

  • Can we have these people rounded up and executed before they do too much harm?

    And no, I'm not some luddite who hates texting. I don't think there's any reason to force kids to become experts in cursive because no one writes stuff out in long hand now. My school attempted to get me to write legibly and while they improved matters a little, my handwriting still sucked.

    Text is fine for, you, know, texty things. Kid's aren't morons. And they don't use things where text doesn't work. They're perfectly capable of

  • tl; dr (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward

    I saw the post about the attention span study, but, you know....

  • by Xian97 ( 714198 ) on Tuesday May 19, 2015 @07:52AM (#49724767)

    We still use a lot of whiteboards at work to collaborate on ideas. It's not chalk on a blackboard, but still serves the same purpose of displaying a drawing or diagram for multiple people to view and make comments.

  • Fair to whom? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Required Snark ( 1702878 ) on Tuesday May 19, 2015 @07:58AM (#49724793)
    Microsoft: "Spending money on paper, pencils, whiteboards, and physical books diverts an important revenue stream away from our bottom line. It's not fair."

    To be even handed, Apple takes exactly the same position. To view a real clusterf--k, check out the FBI criminal investigation into iPad purchasing at the LA Unified School District [arstechnica.com].

  • by Nyder ( 754090 ) on Tuesday May 19, 2015 @07:59AM (#49724799) Journal

    This is really anti-education. While handwriting isn't something as important as it was in the past, it is very important. While you can write on a tablet, I have yet to find one that is as decent as writing on paper. It's bad enough we let students graduate who can't read, but are we going to start letting students graduate without knowing how to write either?

    • by AqD ( 1885732 )

      Important to what?

    • This is really anti-education. While handwriting isn't something as important as it was in the past, it is very important.

      The last time I used cursive - like many I went to school with, was the last cursive test I took. That was around 1965, in grade school. Hasn't that battle been long lost? Forcing children to learn cursive is about as useful as how they used to force us lefties to be right handed.

      That's a whole different battle from spelling and using pencil and paper.

  • chalk? (Score:4, Informative)

    by senatorpjt ( 709879 ) on Tuesday May 19, 2015 @08:04AM (#49724819)

    Well, not technically, but I'm a software developer and I use a whiteboard almost every day. I suppose the real problem is that when I want a digital artifact, I use my non-Microsoft phone to take a picture of it. Maybe all they need to do is develop a set of markers whose ink is only visible to their own cameras.

  • I'm a millennial. Many of my generation express themselves with less eloquence on social media than you'd find among third world students where English is a third language. What they need is someone to tell them that they don't give a fried-in-the-sun rat shit how they express themselves-that if they want to be treated like they have an opinion more valuable than that of a coked out hamster-they'd better shape up.

  • I think the Georgia Straight got a sales call confused with news. As handy as computers are a pen and paper works much better very often. Android, Surface and iPad just don't really work that well to replace a pencil and paper. Until there is a commercially viable 40"x60" Surface with proper drafting table UI we will still be using paper for a long time.
  • In the real world, I use whiteboards and make handwritten notes every day. It's about convenience and flexability.

    I like MS OneNote and use it to keep projected organized.. often they start with a whiteboard scan that I paste into my opening page.
  • by DesertJazz ( 656328 ) on Tuesday May 19, 2015 @08:22AM (#49724895) Homepage

    I am a teacher that has been highly into technology as a hobby from growing up with computers around me. I consider myself to be very literate in technology - much more so than my fellow teachers most of the time. I've watched districts roll out technology as the savior of classrooms multiple times, and have shaken my head as the technology has failed due to poor understanding of the infrastructure needed to pull off the new 'greatest thing ever!' The fallacy here is related to the other article referenced, kids attention spans are shrinking. So are adults! Technology has some wonderful uses, but at times it's getting shoved into the classroom as the savior of education - when it's not necessarily.

    Add to that what happens in the real world and you lose power from a major storm like we did Friday. Our IT department must not have everything properly isolated on UPS supplies or something, because it took all weekend and until late yesterday afternoon before they got our phone and internet system back up. Last I checked our Microsoft Exchange server is still down. If we depend totally on technology in situations like that we'll be even more out of luck. Our attendance systems were fun yesterday...

  • I think kids go to school to learn new things, like expressing themselves with chalk and writing in cursive. Why would you teach things they already know? Kids learn wonderful things like art and music in school. If Microsoft has its way, they would only learn Powerpoint.
  • by Pollux ( 102520 ) <speter.tedata@net@eg> on Tuesday May 19, 2015 @08:27AM (#49724913) Journal

    I've been a mathematics teacher for nine years. And with the utmost sincerity, let me say this: Shut the fuck up.

    Take your baseless opinions regarding educational matters and keep them to yourself. Microsoft has had as much success running schools [phillytrib.com] as they had selling MP3 players. Note taking has been proven time-and-time again to be a very effective and powerful mnemonic device for learning. Studies have also shown that note taking with a pen/pencil and paper is more effective than note taking with a laptop [scientificamerican.com]. Furthermore, I can ask my students to have a notebook and pencil the first day of class, and for those who forgot or cannot afford it, I have plenty of spares to give them. I cannot expect the same out of a laptop or other digital device. Until you have research clearly demonstrating that any digital device is superior for learning development and comprehension, stay out of my classroom.

  • by mwvdlee ( 775178 ) on Tuesday May 19, 2015 @08:34AM (#49724941) Homepage

    Given the Microsoft Study Finds Technology Hurting Attention Spans story posted to Slashdot in the last few days it would seem that Redmond's Marketing and R&D people are at cross-purposes.

    You assume Microsoft thinks short attention span is a bad.

  • Lia lia pants on fia.

  • by Vermifax ( 3687 ) on Tuesday May 19, 2015 @08:37AM (#49724957)

    Kids don't express themselves in chalk?

    She doesn't have children. I have chalk pictures all over my driveway.

  • No conflict of interest here. Nope, no sireeee.

  • by CHK6 ( 583097 ) on Tuesday May 19, 2015 @08:43AM (#49724999)
    Knee jerk reaction here, but adding the point that kids don't use chalk, pens, or pencils, but rather text is because the communication between generations continues to degrade. And now the youths' communication are de-evolving into what is little more than digital grunts and chirps. And they think teachers should low their standards of communication? I thought teacher were to teach and challenge, not lower the standards.
  • "When was the last time you used a piece of chalk to express yourself?"

    Yesterday afternoon, out on the sidewalk.

  • Man, those are some brass ones, even for a company flack. "Think of the children!" has hit a new level of self-serving.
  • by taylorius ( 221419 ) on Tuesday May 19, 2015 @09:09AM (#49725151) Homepage

    Writing is not just about expression - it teaches fine motor control, attention, patience. To say it's obsolete would be laughable, if it wasn't such an utterly sinister proposition.

  • When was the last time you used a piece of chalk to express yourself

    When was the last time this guy saw a piece of chalk in a classroom... or saw a classroom, for that matter?

    Kids text.

    Know what else kids do? Hang around in shopping malls looking miserable. Many will also drink alcohol if they can get hold of it, or jiggle around in darkened rooms to music that consists of some guy making misogynistic comments over a drum machine.

    So perhaps we should turn all the schools into shopping malls with rave venues, and serve lots of alcopops? Kids would be much happier. Whether they'd act

  • To kick Microsoft out of schools and scorn everything they say...

  • Kids also pee their pants and pick their nose....so your point would be.....
  • > "When was the last time you used a piece of chalk to express yourself?" De Cicco Remu, a former teacher, asked

    It was quite a long time ago, but I still remember it. I expressed myself by throwing the chalk at the teacher.
  • With a stylus and a tablet, kids can still cognitively benefit from the digitized practice of “inking”, she explained.

    In other words, this marketing nimrod wants students to be using "pen and paper" that she can sell.

  • "When was the last time you used a piece of chalk to express yourself?"

    Last week. Whiteboard marker, to be precise, but if we had a blackboard in the meeting room, it would have been a piece of chalk.

    Everyone who knows something about presentations also understands that Powerpoint is a horrible abuse and failure in at least as many situations as those where it is a useful tool. There are things that you can best show in animated slides, others are best described with prosa text, yet others with short and memorable phrases. In addition, everyone learns slightly differently. Som

  • by Maxwell ( 13985 ) on Tuesday May 19, 2015 @09:45AM (#49725429) Homepage
    They draw dinosaurs, flowers, spiderman, farm animals, hopscotch, race tracks, cities. The driveway and sidewalk are fully engulfed my mid-spring and only 'reset's when it rains. Kids at play. With chalk. MSFT sales people are free to come by and observe.
  • Scene from a job interview.......

    Me sitting in front of HR person

    HR person: "We're pretty concerned about this particular essay you wrote in third grade......."

    Your "permanent record" can now contain every spelling mistake you ever made.

  • by nehumanuscrede ( 624750 ) on Tuesday May 19, 2015 @10:26AM (#49725741)

    While using "technology" ( streaming video ) to deliver training for the certifications I'm pursuing, I have found that taking notes via pen and paper is what helps me to retain it. I have tried using a laptop and the info just doesn't stick.

    ONLY by writing it down manually do I remember it.

    No matter how I try to emulate it with tech like a pen / tablet combo, it just isn't the same.

When it is not necessary to make a decision, it is necessary not to make a decision.

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