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Impromptu: Digitally Stupid.

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It is interesting that digital and digitalis are of the same root.. Digital is... you know. Digitalis is a substance  extracted  from the herbs of the foxglove  line. It can be beneficial and it can be also deadly. It depends on the case,time and dosage.

So is digital technology. Mr. A. Duncan, our education secretary had just announced the accelerated campaign to  transfer all the K-12   textbooks to digital format  ASAP. And he referred to South Koreans as an example.

There is always something odd about that position 'education secretary'. It  is like a 'secretary of happiness'. Truly speaking, education is not about  textbooks and software. It is about  a way of thinking. I would argue that even if we here now had no computers at all and all children  would have used ink-pots  the level of education could be very high indeed  if we, for instance,   had teachers talking to each other and  also (yes) if we had universal health care. And I also would argue that even 1000  Mr. Duncans will not improve our education level even by 1% even if we digitize all the books from math to sexual education and also animate them so that numbers smile at us. Education is not about that.

Education is about a way of thinking. That means the process  must promote  THINKING  all the time. I dare to say that the old- fashioned book and notebook, the  necessity to write neatly by hand, the  calligraphy, the good handwriting, the feeling of  approaching something done by others- all of that promotes thinking. On the contrary, the glimmer of the screen, the snap pictures instead of text, huge pdf documents which no one can read, the usage of images instead of a text, the anonymity of   the pixel- all of that  creates a  bunch of imbeciles who then listen to Netanyahu  showing them a  picture of the  powder bomb, What goes around-comes around.  If you take   uneducated populous and  put that  lack of education into a digital  format you will get  the generation of Digitally Stupid.

And what about  South Koreans?  I  believe they are doing it correctly. If you have universal health coverage and national education standards- it is time to go digital. But I bet their kids still study calligraphy.

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The writer is 57 years old, semi- retired engineer, PhD, PE, CEM. I write fiction on a regular basis and I am also 10 years on OEN.

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Poor path openers, for they can never refer to the... by Ad Du on Wednesday, Oct 3, 2012 at 9:04:25 PM
The one and only parameter is the capablity of the... by Mark Sashine on Thursday, Oct 4, 2012 at 10:07:36 AM
One ray of sunshine vis a vis digital text books.&... by Michael Collins on Friday, Oct 12, 2012 at 5:27:24 PM