Reading and Writing, Speaking and Listening?

by Steve Wyckoff on January 19, 2010

Seems like a simple concept right? Reading, writing, speaking, and listening. I thought about this this morning and chuckled to myself. If you want proof about how the world is changing just take four simple concepts like these and think about how they play out in the 21st century.

I hardly ever read any more, but I read about 60 books a year. How so you ask? My favorite library is located at audible.com. I have subscriptions for four books a month plus I typically buy several more. So am I well read? Or well listened?

Writing? I’m lost without my speech to text software. While it’s not perfect, for somebody like me who can’t spell, and can’t type, yes I’m a hunt and pecker, speech to text is a lifesaver. I recognize that I’ll never be a good writer, but speech to text does at least make me better. Hold on, does that make me a better writer or a better speaker? And is “speaking in” text the same as speaking to an audience?

And how it all of this be accepted for students in schools today? Is the most important skill reading, or  for having the content of the book get into your brain? And is the act of typing or writing the important part, or getting your thoughts down on paper?

And I haven’t even ventured  into the world of text-to-speech that is available on almost every computer today. I admit, that occasionally I will use the text-to-speech function for e-mails or articles so I can just sit back and take in the content.

All of these issues are probably irrelevant in schools because they do nothing to improve standardized test scores. And besides, most schools would not allow our kids to have the technology present in class.

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