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March 26, 2006
Compare and Contrast (There will be a quiz.)

NYTimes Op-Ed:

Searching for Dummies

TALK of decline was old news in academia even in 1898, when traditionalists blasted Harvard for ending its Greek entrance requirement. But today there's a new twist in the story: Are search engines making today's students dumber?

His basic point is that Google makes it too easy to find information on the internet and thus today's kids aren't learning to think intelligently.

Excuse me while I run a Google search to see if I can find out when it became Google's job to educate children, instead of just organizing access to information.

Since Edward Tenner then goes on to explain how you still can't always find precisely what you're looking for unless you understand enough about it to search properly, the entire column is a bit ridiculous, but still.

"Our kids is getting dumber." (Can't be true. I Googled the phrase and it doesn't exist.)

Allow me to introduce Amy Piva and Madeleine Mason:

Shoot from the hip, hit the heart

Young writers not afraid to evoke emotions in their stories

By taking part in a weekly lunchtime writing seminar, two Steamboat Springs Middle School eighth-graders are developing creative writing skills that allow them to tackle topics much tougher than their ages suggest. The students are taking the informal seminar with Madeleine Mason, a paraprofessional at the school who has a lifelong love of writing and is spending extra time with the students at the suggestion of English teacher Amy Piva.

The time outside the classroom is paying off.

[....]

[Kelsey Butler, 13]'s macabre mystery, "Lia," tells the story of a schizophrenic woman who -- maybe -- unknowingly murders her mother after conjuring an imaginary lover who is a Mafia hit man.

"I was watching ‘CSI' before I wrote it," Kelsey said, referring to TV's popular crime investigation drama.

Drew Ruff, also 13, entered a Western story in the Tattered Cover contest. "Dell" is a tale about an aging cowboy who is forced to question where his true love lies after his horse suffers a nasty fall.

They're being educated, you see. Someone is teaching them.

search engine
n.
1: A software program that searches a database and gathers and reports information that contains or is related to specified terms.
2: A website whose primary function is providing a search engine for gathering and reporting information available on the Internet or a portion of the Internet.

education
n.
1: the activities of educating or instructing or teaching; activities that impart knowledge or skill
2: knowledge acquired by learning and instruction
3: the gradual process of acquiring knowledge

Posted by AnneZook at 10:11 AM


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