In class on Friday we all discussed multiple literacies and they effect that they’re having on modern classrooms. On item that came up was how some students these days, because of the massive improvements in technology and such, no longer know how to look up a word in a print dictionary. “GASP” says the classroom. Now this does sound absolutely ridiculous when you first hear it mainly because it makes us all think “are kids really that helpless these days?” But is it really that terrible? I don’t think that this case proves in any way that students have become helpless and lazy, i think that it reflects the major technological improvements in the past years, and the dependence that we as a culture have on these new technologies. Let me put it this way, when was the last time that you used an Abacus to solve your math problem? I know that my Abacus has slowly been acquiring some dust in my closet, probably because i have a calculator app in my pocket, and on my computer, and i have a real calculator. Are the mathematicians of the Biblical days gasping at this, or are they jealous of my slick and fancy calculator app? Should we really be disappointed in students who don’t how to use print dictionaries, or should we embrace the fact that there are faster and more efficient ways of getting the same information? I don’t think that if a student looks up a word online rather than in a dictionary they are missing out on some vital process. A dictionary app is faster, and easier, and the student acquires the same information that they would find in print. I also don’t believe that the average student wouldn’t be able to look up a definition in print if someone gave them a ten minute lesson on it, I just don’t think that the ten minute lesson has ever been necessary. In the same way, I’m pretty sure that I could learn how to use an abacus if someone gave me a lesson, but unless i’m planning on being a banker for Potiphar, learning how would be a waste of my time. I’m going to go ahead and stick to my calculator app, and i think students are going to go ahead and stick to their dictionary apps.