Thursday, August 30, 2007

Digital Kids

CNET's has been running an interesting series since the first of the year titled Digital Kids. They've published eight pieces so far this year - you can find them all linked here. I've enjoyed reading these and have touched on some of the topics. The most recent is titled Say so long to traditional letter writing and was writen by Stefanie Olsen. Stefanie starts by decribing Catherine Cook, a straight A student who had to look up how to mail her Georgetown University application - she forgot where to put the zip code.

Here's a quote from the piece:

"It shouldn't be much of a surprise that Cook thinks letters and snail mail are going the way of record albums and pay telephones. In fact, many kids say that e-mail--one of the Internet's oldest forms of messaging--has lost its appeal for everything except keeping up "adult" or professional relationships".

Th piece goes on with some comments from Cindy Post-Senning, Director of the Emily Post Institute - you may remember Emily Post or have heard of her. Emily's most popular book is Etiquette, first published in 1922 and currently in its 17th edition, having most recently been updated by Peggy Post, Emily's great-granddaughter-in-law,

Good stuff and I have tremendous respect for the Emily Post Institute and the things they do. I'm not really too worried though about kids not being able to address envelopes. For kicks I asked both my 12 and 16 year olds what they would do if they forgot how to address an envelope. They both rolled their eyes (duhhh Dad) and said they would just look it up on-line. So, what the heck, I did a quick Google search of "How to address an envelope" and, they're right, it's easy to find in many places. One of the best references I found is this from Sul Ross University, a school in the Texas State University System.

In the piece Ellen Seiter, a professor of critical studies at the School of Cinematic Arts at the University of Southern California is quoted:

"All types of writing helps all other types of writing,"

"The important thing about writing is formulating thoughts and ideas."

My two daughters write more than I ever wrote when I was their age. One of their favorite places is FanFiction.Net. You also have to throw MySpace, Facebook, discussion forums, blogs, etc, etc, etc into the mix. The difference is they are not doing it with a pen and paper. I'm not worried.

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