Tuesday, October 10, 2006


It's almost as if the states are trying to force the federal government to become more involved in education:
The move to teach text messaging in some Victorian high schools has sparked more acrimony between state and federal education minsters.

The Federal Minister Julie Bishop has condemned it and says it proves that the federal government needs to implement a common national curriculum.
Professor John Frow supports the move to teach SMSing:
If we were simply teaching students how to do text messaging, then it would be a waste of time.

But if we're teaching them about the range of different languages that exist in English, and about translating from one language across to another, if we're teaching them both that kind of skill, but also to think critically about these processes of moving between languages, then that seems to me entirely appropriate.
That sounds reasonable but this from Professor Pam Peters is outright silly:
I doubt that most students when faced with a piece of paper or keyboarding in the fullest screen, would work with SMS which is very much a reduced code to fit into a tiny mobile phone screen, and people who use it know that's why you have those very cut-down words.

Once you've got a whole sheet of paper, a whole screen in which to craft your prose, there isn't this incentive to reduce it to the minimal.
We all have incentive to take accepted shortcuts like Mr, Mrs, PS and RSVP. If kids get accustomed to using truncated SMS language they'll be inclined to use it for the sake of economy; it's only natural. There'a also the little matter of SMSing and IQ reduction.


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