Here’s the opening line from the first email I saw this morning:
Using smart phones for word processing in the English classroom is becoming more and more common in the 21st Century.
Oh, god. Really?
Forget the unwieldy noun phrase. Forget also the tired tech-rhetorical appeal to what century we’re in (got it, thanks) and what’s “becoming more and more” (a nice turn on my favorite phrase to hate, our increasingly digital X …).
Let’s focus instead on the perverse image of the classroom this email invites us to imagine. It’s a classroom filled with students equipped with smartphones. And of all the interesting, innovative things that those students could be doing with their devices, they are using them for word processing—a term which, if Wikipedia is to be believed, The New York Times labeled a buzz word. In 1974.