Are Students Taking the Lazy Way Out by using Textspeak?
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Are students starting to integrate and use texting “lingo” in their school work and papers? Teachers everywhere are starting to notice that they are.
Textspeak Infiltrating Society
The easy way, or the lazy way, will almost always be the way. Humans cannot consciously decide to take a path that is more difficult when they know an easier, more simplified one is available. So it’s no surprise that text messaging lingo has infiltrated all aspects of our society, including not just our schools, but our billboards, magazine covers, and our TV commercials as well.
But are their writing skills actually suffering? My opinion is no. Even though they are using this text messaging lingo, or “textspeak” they had to first learn and be taught proper English. So they know and understand what the right way is. They just know an easier path and are going to take it unless specifically told otherwise.
I had a discussion just the other day with a woman of an older generation. She told me how she kept a notebook to write everything down, and how it helps her remember things and keep her business in order. I just can’t do it, but it’s what she is used to and what works for her.
Microsoft OneNote—My Record Keeper
I use a computer, and more specifically Microsoft’s OneNote. I HAVE TO. My thoughts, like so many others, are fleeting. Once I have an idea or thought, I need to start writing it down. It not only helps me have it later for review, but I often find when I have a great idea and I start to write it down, my thoughts begin to flow and I can REALLY get deep into and gain even more insight into whatever it was I was jotting down.
If anyone ever saw my OneNote page, you’d think I was a mad man. It’s the equivalent to having post –it notes covering your whole house in complete chaotic fashion. But I know right where everything is and use it for everything from research to keeping track of my projects.
If I’m out and I have to write something down to remember it, my brain is not in any way conditioned to go at the snail’s pace of free hand writing. I can see using “textspeak” abbreviations to be very useful.
Thinking Faster Than You Type
The average human thinks at around 120 words per minute. Your brain hears and computes words around 150 wpm. Typing averages I BEIEVE to be somewhere around 50 – 70 words per minute for those who know how to type the proper way. Those who don’t are between 20 and 40 wpm (what I call the chicken peck method). The average person free hand writes at a…..ready for it….wait….wait….not yet….ok, 31 words per minute! You can clearly see the advantages.
Should Kids be able to Textspeak in Class?
I really do believe it to be a tragedy how boring our learning process is in our current school system. Learning is not made or taught to be fun and exciting. (Was your favorite teacher the boring type, or was it the one with a true passion and rare excitement and charisma for what they taught?)
Perhaps this textspeak is a way to make it more fun and get students WANTING to learn. Schools condition millions of us to think that learning is this extremely painful thing that is a long, drawn out, and daunting process that really doesn’t do much, and after college or highschool we think, “Thank the heavens that is over! I am SO GLAD I never have to do that again! I never want to learn anything again, ever.”
What if we allowed kids to write how they texted for one day out of the week? Yet, still be sure and inform them and educate them on the issue of it. Because kids don’t day dream in class, they all pay attention and everyone in school is extremely eager to learn as much as they can, as fast as they can…