Does Your Brain Hurt?

I was watching the news Tuesday morning when they went to talk with the local radio station, as they do every morning, they had a great conversation. Check out the video here.

I found this conversation interesting for many reasons:

  1. They talked about memory of phone numbers, passwords, and birthdays.
  2. They talked about spelling and researching.
  3. They talked about what we will tell our grandchildren.

I have had discussions with friends about the fact that we don’t remember phone numbers anymore. However, I don’t think it’s because we’re trading our memories for other things. I think we just have a convenience of where to find that information, that we have become a little lazy. The numbers and birthdays that are really important to you and that you want to remember, you do remember. Why remember everything? Did you know 100s of phone numbers by memory before cell phones? Probably not, maybe only a few of your close friends.

Have we become worst spellers? There is a big debate on this in schools. Should we be teaching spelling as we learned it? Having a list to memorize for the week, just to forget the words the next week? There are some words that I have learned to spell because of spell check. I think it’s just easier to use then when I was a child and was told “look it up in the dictionary”. That was tough because you didn’t know how to spell it. If you don’t have any clue how to even start to spell a word, spell check doesn’t help. If you’re not close to the correct spelling, then spell check can’t recognize what you are trying to spell. I feel we just use spell check as our dictionary.

Researching information is the same way. However, I feel that we as teachers should be teaching students how to research. Kids today may have the question, “How many states in the United States start with the vowel?” Guess what they do. They type the entire question in and don’t find an answer. Before we had search engines online, we had to learn key words to research. There was no such thing as writing a question and placing it next to the encyclopedia set and the right book falling open. Yes, we have an easier way to research and find information, but it’s not always accurate either.

The last item. Grandchildren. We have all heard stories of how tough life was before we were born. I tell students about when I was a kid and I what I “had to suffer” through. I feel we will always have something to tell the grandchildren. Also, sometimes I tell my students how when I was a kid, we had heat days at school. There was no such thing as air conditioning in schools, so we would get out at noon if the temperature was above 95 at 11:00am. I brag about how life use to be instead of complain all the time.

Yes, the internet and cell phones have made a convenience for us. (By the way, I forgot the en after the v in convenience and was going to be lazy and have spell check fix it. . . . it thought I meant convince. In fact, it didn’t even give me the word I wanted as an option.) But we need to know how to use them. I feel that we are using technology to benefit ourselves. We are not becoming lazy or dumb, we are just using our resources.

I want to thank WIBW  and 94 Country in Topeka for opening my mind and getting me to thinking early in the mornings. I enjoy their talking and rantings they have. Even if it stirs the pot about marriage. I also want to thank Chris Fisher and Amanda Lanum for helping get the video from the conversation (even though I couldn’t get it to embed in my post).

My views on this conversation in no way reflect the great work that WIBW and 94 Country do in giving us the news. I appreciate all the do to inform our state of the news and happenings. I just wanted to share some of my input to their conversation.
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About Anthony Purcell

I am Anthony Purcell and I am currently teaching math in Oklahoma.
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