Blog for the Sprog
I have been in a rut. She reads well now, but her writing skills need some work. Also, it has become difficult to maintain relevance since she started school. A few more Japanese words creeping into sentences, still a willingness to keep up with practice but the materials we are using are hardly very motivating. However you want to call a workbook, it’s still a workbook. So I decided to go digital.
I’m now working in the digital education sector, and often get involved in conversations about K-12 education using electronic devices or websites. From a sales point of view these are game changers. From a teacher/parent point of view I’d say they can help to stimulate and motivate, but should not replace the core skill of actual writing, or the focused experience of reading a single function object (a book).
To each their own I suppose. The New York Times ran this article by a professor of education in the states about the changes that allow schools to stop teaching cursive writing. I think that this is an arrogant approach that will lead to some serious dumbing down of the general populace in comparison with other countries. Handwriting is part of our cultural heritage and should be celebrated. I can’t imagine Japanese calligraphy ever suffering such a fate, engrained as it is into the cultural identity.
I believe that we can and should promote the use of technology as a motivating force and a communication enabler. I’m willing to test that theory. My daughter’s new blog will feature photos of hand-written posts that users can add comments to. We start slowly and hopefully build a little momentum. the site is also in a ‘vanilla’ state. she can play at customizing it as she gets older. It is under my administration and I control settings.
More than to prove anybody wrong, I am hoping that a simple blog will prove to be the right thing for the situation. I don’t want to be the slave driver, I would prefer to be the innovator and enabler. Let’s see how it goes.