Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Log off the Internet and log on to the three Rs

PUBLICATION: The Ottawa Citizen
DATE: 2005.04.19
EDITION: Final
SECTION: News
PNAME: Letters
PAGE: A13
BYLINE: Victor Rodriguez
SOURCE: The Ottawa Citizen
ILLUSTRATION: Photo: Tory Zimmerman, The Ottawa Citizen / VictorRodriguez, an English teacher, says more students than ever before are behind in their reading and writing capabilities because the students are chatting on the Internet instead of reading and writing by hand.

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Log off the Internet and log on to the three Rs

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Re: Online chats teach literacy: researchers: April 12.

As an English teacher at the high school level, I think the researchers' claim that online chatting may help literacy is quite mistaken.

The Internet and online services are more damaging to a student's education than they are a useful tool. Although it is true that the Internet can be a useful tool, more students than ever before are behind in their reading and writing capabilities. Computers should be left out of the classrooms altogether.

Not only do students develop poor reading and language skills in online chats, many are also incapable of legible handwriting. This is because they tap everything on the keyboard and spelling checkers fix all of their mistakes for them.

This so-called academic tool is creating a generation of apathetic students who cannot read, write or even think properly. Although it might help a few students who receive assistance from educators while online, chatting is making for a generation of very weak thinkers.

It's time for young people (and researchers) to log off and log back on to the old "three Rs" of reading, writing and arithmetic.

Victor Rodriguez,

Nepean

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