Teaching Text-Messaging?

Is it just me, or is this article very carefully dancing around their point — that English classes need to change substantially to reflect the way people read today. Frankly, I’m not sure how I feel about this. I believe students need web communication skills in today’s society, but I’m not willing to sacrifice any of the grammar, literature, or composition I already teach in order to do it. My curriculum is full. The article is very unclear about what exactly will change about England’s national curriculum.

When I was in high school, I took typing, which has gone the way of the dinosaur in favor of “keyboarding.” I’m not exactly sure what is taught in a keyboarding class — obviously typing skills. What about using the Internet and e-mail? My daughter, for instance, brought home a page of notes she took on “netiquette.” Is it out of the realm of possibility to include “reading the web” in a computers class? It just seems to me that whatever extra new thing needs to be taught winds up in the English or language arts curriculum. I will say that if we’re talking about teaching text-messaging, not only will I not do it, but I’ll argue that students already have too much proficiency in text-messaging already. I would hate to see this joke become reality: Romeo and Juliet: The Text-Messaging Version (originally published in The New Yorker).

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