Friday, May 27, 2011

Chewing on ideas

I just read Ted Hutchings' latest post titled Technological Dissonance and if you have a minute, I think you should read it for yourself.

It's kind of weird how something you write can speak to others in ways they might never predict. For me, I appreciated the dissonance that Ted wrestled with over allowing technology such as video games into his family's home.

Here's how Ted started his post:

The idea for this post has been percolating for over a year, but I never seem to get around to actually writing it. I've changed titles, messed around with the topic and even now, I'm rewriting this introduction for the fourth or fifth time.
As someone who has been blogging pretty hardcore for about a year and a half, I know how the best posts can be the ones that sit as a draft for weeks or even months.

They sit there staring at you.

Sometimes you pull up that draft only to quickly close the laptop in frustration or avoidance. Sometimes you make edits or whole scale deletions, only to click undo.

So where am I going with this?

I think it's a damn shame that even the most unaccomplished writers can know the best writing comes from making time the variable and thoughtful prose the constant. And yet it's May - are you aware of how many children, some as young as grade 3, are put through some kind of written response standardized test? For these tests, time is the constant and thoughtful prose is the variable.

And what do we expect, when these kids are all given the same prompt that they've never seen before and have been told to write something thoughtful in the time allotted.

Writing for me is a highly personalized adventure - and if someone told me what I had to blog about, and that I only had x amount of time, I would tell them where to go and how to get there faster than you can say Jack Robinson.

Can you imagine how many children are turned off of writing because of these tests? Real learning is not likely to survive under such contrived environments.

If we are to move past spitting back the superficial, we all need more than a couple hours to chew on our ideas.

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