Tuesday, October 2, 2007

commentary on the youth of the nation....

....you may safely put aside those reports that today's teens are computer literate and totally in an online world. Just now, a young lady approached the desk to tell me that there was something "wrong with her computer." As we walked over to her workstation, she told me that there was "a big o' hole, a space, between her words, her paragraphs and she kain't make it goway."
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
The delete key worked for me. Her problem, absolutely nothing wrong with the computer.



20 MINUTES LATER....


.....same young lady, new problem. Now mom's involved.

"Excuse me, there's something wrong with my daughter's computer (yeah, I'm sure). It keeps deleting the words she's typing." Mind you, she's speaking so softly that I could not hear a word she said the first time around. I asked her to speak up, but she leaned in VERY closely and remained at the same volume. I caught both what she said and a whiff of her coffee breath. FANNNtastic. As I suspected, the problem lay not with the computer but rather with an errant pinkie on its way to the delete key...the pesky Insert key strikes again. I showed her where it was, how to recognize it was on, and how to turn it off...you know, those complex toggle buttons will get you every time!

These are simple, basic keyboarding principles as far as I know.

8 comments:

Erica said...

moments like that make me fear for our nation's future.

Kenny P. said...

aaaaaaaaaaaaahelpaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaameaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaIaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaakeepaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaatypingaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaatheaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaletteraaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaA!

Kenny P. said...

Hey, my comment didn't publish correctly! I was trying to be clever, and now the effect is RUINED!
(I guess I'm no better with the keyboard than the dummy in your liberry).

BSkove, Publisher said...

funny. But I have to say, had a similar experience with my 14-year-old son just recently, minus the rich accent.

Holley T said...

KP-I read it in my email first and it was all on one line...I giggled about it quite a bit because the seniors (alas, not those in high school though) that I teach in computer class do exactly that :)

BSkove-I would be interested to know along exactly what lines teens' computer skills lay/lie (whichever is correct)? Everyone goes on and on about it, but could they type a correctly punctuated and formatted business letter without the letter wizard? Or do those skills limit themselves to Myspace, Facebook and others of their ilk? Is Blogger included, am I the pot calling the kettle black?
...and the accent was very rich for these here parts. Mountain Brook (its dirty little nickname? the tiny kingdom) has some of the richest people in the state living here and a lot of them have very New: York/Jersey/England dialects going on. It was odd to have a country girl boppin' around.

BSkove, Publisher said...

In my son's case, he has to concentrate and take his time to write a sentence on paper, for class or letters. When he was younger, I had to ban Captain Underpants books for a while, because of all the misspelled wordz. Little did I know they were the precursor to txt messiging. Ugh.
He recently wrote a letter to a snack manufacturer for one of his classes. Typed in Word and with the help of spell check, he thought he was done after one draft. Ha. We are talking a 3 paragraph letter, no paragraph longer than 3 sentences. I made him add a sentence to each paragraph, add a closing paragraph, and revise some grammar and punctuation. ONE HOUR later... He had a very nice business letter constructed.
Honestly, kids probably aren't any better or worse than any other generation, it's just that they have so many options today that ALLOW them to be worse at spelling/grammar, etc. than we used to have. They probably don't think they need to know "all that" (meaning tab keys, insert keys, etc.) because by the time they'll need to know, some computer genius will have developed something that does everything for them. I predict it will be a computer affectionately nicknamed "mom".

I got a little off track. Computer skills? text messaging - yes Google Search - yes MySpace/YourFace/OurBook - yes

Job-oriented Computer Skills?
Word/Excel - minimal, whatever it takes to get by.
Critical Thinking - minimal. Why waste time thinking when there are video games to be played?
Don't get me going. (And I like my kids, think they're smart, etc. But my husband and I have to PUSH them like crazy to get them to 1 - think while they're doing schoolwork and 2 - take more than 5 minutes for schoolwork.

Holley T said...

you make a very salient point BSkove! I take advantage of many of the Windows-based shortcuts available to me. I remember using some sort of mathematical formula to calculate tabs and margins using WordPerfect in typing class in middle school. Could I even come close to approximating that today...hell no! I have handy-dandy MS Word to do that crap for me. I guess it's just so frustrating to here the day-in-and-day-out reports of how much smarter kids are, how much more they'll be able to do when they get older than we have done and it's sad and it's true. I want my niece and nephew to reach for those very same stars that I did when I was their age, but not at the expense of common sense....I don't get to run the universe unfortunately or a lot of things would be different :)

Thanks for always coming back BSkove (and everyone else)! I appreciate your patronage (the good kind, not the comtemptuous kind).

:)

Holley T said...

dmn it! hear, not here! The comments section needs a spell check....EEEEEEK! I've been assimilated!