Thursday, 22 November 2007

Food for thought - don't talk with your mouth full!

A conversation at work got me thinking, it was about 'food and children' - how children/young teens are increasingly eating finger foods and packed lunches (sandwiches) and most children don't fully have the opportunity to use cutlery (knife & fork) at all meal times and thus don't know how to use them properly or need to be corrected at a skill which should have been attained at a young age. I know we have to go with the times ...but this got me thinking about how our younger generation is shaping up in other areas which do have an influence in how they interact with others - their communication skills. (Without trying to sound like a minister) as we are getting increasingly digital in most aspects of communication (mobile phones, gaming, personal and social and in education) it concerns me that the essential value of face-to-face interaction is not undermined.

It's great that we have these avenues of communication which allow those who prefer to express themselves in this way can, but I feel in a learning environment in particular that we do not undervalue face-to-face real time interactions which are vital so that core essential communication skills are developed and reinforced.


Steve Mackenzie said...

Hi Suki,

I cetainly agree that many skills are in danger of being lost and face to face communication is one of them. So work in this are should not be neglected.

To me all the new web 2.0 technOlogy are just tools that can be used to improve teaching and learning.

I like the phrase used by George Siemens (advocate of the connectivism learning theory) when discussing the use of social software that "content is a conduit that leads into a conversation".

I think web 2.0 tools can be used to generate conversations and communication. So i see them as complimentary, but i appreciate the very valid point about losing traditional human communication skills.

Suki said...

These web 2.0 technology tools are great at crossing barriers of time and space and we need to exploit the opportunities they can bring in context.Using them to generate conversations and communication will be meaningful in the short term to those involved in the 'activity' - however the long term benefit I don't see this being meaningful to a passive rceipient unless they re-invent the task etc.