Tuesday, November 6, 2012

"Note-taking" : The Modern Day Students

The modern-day students have deplorable hand-writing. The students we're now getting as freshmen in our university classes have been exposed to computers from perhaps elementary school, and so instead of being taught penmanship classes - which was very important to the Confucian scholarly education system that placed great emphasis on control of mind and body through proper penmanship and Chinese calligraphy - some of our students now have the handwriting of kindergarten students ... large, unshapen and scrawlly.
Another detriment to the students' lack of proper penmanship is their present-day note-taking methods ... by cell phone! Few students actually take notes anymore. The formerly auditory society that had few or limited books now has become a visual society that has plentiful books, unlimited writing materials, computers, a wide variety of recording devices, both visual and auditory, so students are tasked in writing. Here are some of my students employing their modern note-taking "skills". At the end of every class I write the homework on the board, often specifying certain points that are important for the learning process, and do the students write their assignments in their notebooks? No! They often don't even have notebooks. At the end of class they whip out their phones in unison, snap a shot of the board and then shoot out the door. Wow ... modern students!

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