Opinion: Remember, graduates, be present; learn to learn without technology

Witticisms and sage advice abound this time of year, thanks to commencement addresses. The wisdom runs the gamut from the inane to the insightful.

My favorite message was delivered by David McCullough Jr. two years ago when he spoke to graduates of the Massachusetts high school where he teaches English.

“We have of late, we Americans, to our detriment, come to love accolades more than genuine achievement,” stated the son of the well-known historian and author. “We have come to see them as the point — and we’re happy to compromise standards, or ignore reality, if we suspect that’s the quickest way, or only way, to have something to put on the mantelpiece.”

A fitting addendum to McCullough’s address could focus on the latest agent of self-indulgence: cell phones.

Barth Keck is an English teacher and assistant football coach who also teaches courses in journalism and media literacy at Haddam-Killingworth High School. Email Barth here.

See the complete story at CT News Junkie.


One response to “Opinion: Remember, graduates, be present; learn to learn without technology”

  1. Suzanne

    I don’t mind technology of any stripe – when it works. This would include hard drives, printers, cell phone signals and scan/fax machines at least. What I find disturbing is the preferential use of these items over drawing, writing, talking with one another or being silent in a quiet place or, even more so, making something with one’s hands or planting a garden. These are all activities that, as pointed out in the article, are good for the brain. It should be added for the body as well. There are some millenials that have returned to old craft like knitting, growing organics to market, letter press, etc. (Just check out Etsy.) I am sure these individuals use technology also but their lives and brains are more ocmplete by the use of their hands, their complete brains, in making something, in communal, rather than solitary, activity.

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