Writing What I Think – Writing to Communicate

Ok, I am using technology to write this piece. I use technology often to communicate with writing. But, I also write on paper with a pencil, and sometimes, a favorite pen. I can go both ways. I often jot down my thoughts on paper, saved for a later time to revisit and think more deeply about, maybe to expand on in more writing.

What am I getting at? I am getting at the lost art of writing on paper, writing to communicate my ideas, writing to organize all sorts of things, writing to make lists so I don’t forget what to pick up at the store, writing to capture the thoughts and thinking I encounter from others, and writing because I enjoy the act of writing. I love the critical thinking that happens at the point of a pencil as it meets the paper. I love rehearsing ideas, editing my thoughts, and just being a writer.

It is no secret I am not from the younger generations where technology is the first resort to do our work and bidding. I still prefer working with my hands and the thinking time I get creating something with my hands. I’ll use hand tools over power tools most of the time when given a choice and the absence of time pressure.

I do use technology obviously (what am I doing right here, duh?) But I also have the ability and the flexibility to go both ways, use technology or use hand tools, even a pencil and a piece of paper.

Now, I am going to bring this a little closer to my intention. I see our schools pushing the use of technology over pencil and paper tasks almost exclusively. I see students that are challenged to use hand writing and paper to communicate their thoughts. I see hand writing as a disappearing skill. I see students that do not have the comfort of doing computations on paper for math and reach for a calculator.

I think this over-reliance on technology is a mistake. Yes, technology can make our lives easier, but it can also permit our brains to become lazy. We should be able to write and compute on paper with as much ease as we find using technology for these same tasks.

I think we do our students a disservice when we do not first build the skills of using hand writing and paper and pencil tasks before we totally turn our reliance to technology.

Take care,

Ed Pirie

Published by Ed Pirie

I am a native Vermonter. I am a child of the 50s, 1951 to be exact. For much of my youth Vermont had one foot in the 19th century and one in the 20th century. The old ways coexisted with a world that was changing. We were sort of insulated in Vermont from much that was happening outside our state, but our little protective bubble was shrinking. My understanding of today has been greatly influenced by the past as the past was always part of our present in the Vermont of the 1950s and even the 60s. I am not much of a follower and like to do my own thinking. You will find my thoughts on many topics here. I value my family and a quiet existence in a very rural part of Vermont. I try to write clearly and simply. I hope you enjoy and thank you for visiting my site. Take care.

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1 Comment

  1. I agree, Ed!
    This article would make an interesting discussion for a faculty,
    an interesting one for parents and…
    an interesting one to see how kids feel about it!

    Liked by 1 person

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