The title of my blog was the main question of an interesting blog that I read on Cool Cat Teacher Blog. Victoria A Davis, author of the blog, uses several slideshows that include audio and short videos to demonstrate how much more effectively we can communicate when we include voice and graphics compared to a simple written text statement using only words to convey a message.
For instance, one of the questions is: Which is more effective in a math class?
A statement such as: Geometric Formulas are used in everyday life.
Which tells the story more clearly?
A statement such as: The United States is excitedly showing school spirit this fall.
Ms. Davis’ point seems to be that teachers should not only teach reading and writing but also the use of nontextbased modes for faster and more effective communication. An important component of useful communication is the art of using as few words as possible to express oneself. With so many types of technology, it is difficult for me to imagine just how concise a message might be expressed, the depths to which it might go, and its consequent impact.
A further point that Ms. Davis makes is that by not teaching our students to use technology when learning to read and write, we are doing them a disservice because those types of communication are constantly changing and growing in use.