The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Technology race may leave word skills behind

Sometimes in the race to gain as much as we can as fast as possible, things of value and importance can be forgotten.

It is kind of like athletes who take a running leap forward but fall backward when their feet finally touch the ground. And that is not limited to running broad jumpers. It happens to societies. And it seems to be the path our current progress is taking in the realm of basic skills such as reading, writing, spelling and critical thinking.

Not too long ago, the way people could find out if a word was spelled correctly was to (gasp) use their alphabetical organization skills and look the word up in Webster’s.

Recently, while trying to send a text message inquiring about a work of art bearing the initials of what I thought were IES, my cell phone kept replacing what I was typing. And I was becoming doubly irritated because the replacement initials were IRS.

With cell phones, people no longer need to spell correctly. They only need to type something vaguely resembling a word. Really, typing skills can even be tossed because we can speak words into a phone and, poof, it will do the typing.

I’ll admit I’m not in love with college algebra. And after spending more than what should have been sufficient time one Saturday morning trying to solve an algebra problem, I decided to do what I have seen my daughter do and just ask Siri.

To my delight, there it was on my phone — the elusive answer. Now, I no longer need to think about the problem, seek help in the math lab or learn to use the TI-83 Plus calculator I purchased.

I am on Easy Street. Or am I?

If I allow a computer do my thinking, problem solving, reading, typing, spelling and navigating, I might risk becoming the doppelganger of a gourd. I think I’ll pass.

It makes a person wonder if computer programmers will eventually be the ones who actually possess the skills to read, write, spell and navigate.

Indeed, a portion of this segment of society already owns massive amounts of the world’s monetary wealth. It seems the rest of us should retain a few things of value.

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