Typing Faster = Increased Achievement. Really District 220??

Pioneer Local BarringtonCourier-Review,
“New laptop program for middle schoolers.”

Seventh-graders Shareef SanJuan, Chris Nevarez and Joe Roeckell, work on their new laptops during history class at Barrington Middle School - Station Campus. (Ruthie Hauge/Staff Photographer)

Interesting, you might think.  But the first line of the article reads “The era of handwriting essays in school may soon be over.”  The article goes on to describe an initiative of the school district; Create, Communicate, Collaborate, or C3.  The pilot program will put a computer in the hands of over 300 students with the main goal “to increase student speed of writing and editing…hoping…we will see increase student achievement”, as stated by the Director of Information Services for Barrington District 220.

With a room Write Under the Stairs designed just for middle schoolers in the lower level of TT Patton, I was a little disturbed by this goal of C3.  So, I did a little snooping to see how the middle schools were performing in writing as reported on the Illinois Report Card.  I was surprised to learn that writing scores were almost 10 points behind the scores for math, reading and science.  So maybe our focus on writing at TT Patton might be a good thing.  However, I’m not an educator of middle schoolers, but something tells me just because you can type faster, use spell check and grammar check, doesn’t mean you’re going to master the art of writing.  I mean just because you have a calculator, doesn’t mean you know which keys to press.  Whatever happened to simply educating students so they understand and can apply concepts in an effort to increase student achievement?

I really hope that District 220 comes up with something a little better. Because what’s next…eliminating spelling and grammar in grade school?  I mean… we have WordPress to do that now.

As for the students shown in the picture above typing in history class as part of the C3 program … not sure they really look too excited about being Creative; nor are they Communicating and Collaborating with each other.   I guess that really isn’t the goal of the C3 pilot program at the moment…

More information about Write Under the Stairs
For a tour of the room Write Under the Stairs stop in TT Patton at 123 E Station Street in downtown Barrington.  Ask us about The CLUB Write Under the Stairs and the many writing workshops for students 4th – 8th grades scheduled throughout the school year.  Watch the short video below to hear what students had to say about the writing programs at TT Patton this summer.

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