“We Never Use Pen & Paper”

  1. Actually, pen and paper ARE habit forming, but writing is a fine habit that we should all encourage more of. []
  2. Other than just the decision about what tool to use, that is. []

23 thoughts on ““We Never Use Pen & Paper”

  1. Hello, Bud,

    RE: “the right tool for the right job”

    I find myself adding “for the person doing the work” at the end of the sentence. Tool selection is often a personal preference, and the more we can empower choice, the better we’re doing.

    RE “digital friendly” – how about “effective”? I don’t think it’s necessarily great, but I often see rollouts measured by how often hardware is used, instead of how well. The more we can help people see that tech use involves making informed choices from an array of options, the closer we are to having people drive and control their usage patterns.

  2. Hey Bud,

    I enjoyed your ideas in this post—I agree that the either/or dichotomy of analog or digital seems to miss the point, and I have learned to be skeptical anytime I hear teachers bragging “We never _________” (fill in the blank with whatever half-truth you’d like).

    I like to think of eReaders or iPads or whatever as another (admittedly very powerful) tool, instead of one that becomes a holy grail acquired with the misguided mission of replacing everything else that came before.

    Using less paper is a wonderful thing, especially in schools where so much paper is wasted. But personally it is hard to imagine me doing a good job in my English classroom without having my students use pens and paper from time to time and, on certain days, having pens and paper be the focus of how we record or create our ideas. I feel the same way about books printed on real paper, and the disconnect one feels when these texts are presented to us as backlit digitized images preserved behind plates of glass.

    I’m also in the camp of those who believe that there is something psychologically important of being able to formulate characters with your hands, paper and graphite or ink, not unlike what happens in visual art classrooms. Or are they planning on going paperless too?

    Admittedly I have become old-school faster than I predicted. Will pens, paper and books be our generation’s Latin (and proficiency in languages in general) as artifacts once embraced as a necessary and valuable part of a formal and complete education, and then quickly abandoned? I hope not.

    As is usually the case, Vonnegut provides us with the best perspective on issues concerning technology and its analog counterparts. He writes, “By accident, not by cunning calculation, books, because of their weight and texture, and because of their sweetly token resistance to manipulation, involve our hands and eyes, and then our minds and souls, in a spiritual adventure I would be very sorry for my grandchildren not to know about.”
    Brian´s last blog post ..DIY Upcycled Student Notebooks

  3. Students do not write on paper in their daily lives anymore in this digital world. They use phones, tablets, texting, skype, twitter to stay connected to what is important to them. We make them stop in school. I am not sure why. That disconnects school from the world they inhabit and thrive in. Why cannot we understand that…………
    Norman Constantine´s last blog post ..To the “barricades”

  4. We’ve had similar discussion in our district (of course). We’ve not landed on the perfect phrase either, but we do talk about printing (and using paper) with purpose. All too often, folks turn to paper because that’s what we’ve always done — not (as you’ve said) because it’s the right tool for the task.

    I don’t think going paperless is on our immediate horizon, but reducing where it makes sense (and putting those dollars toward the right tool) hopefully is.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge