A Newcastle professor claims that English spelling and grammar rules have gone the way of the dodo thanks to new technology.
Sugata Mitra, a professor of educational technology at Newcastle University in northeast England, announced that traditional language rules are out of fashion.
According to Yahoo, the kids of today don’t need to waste time on those things because computers and mobile phones can make the necessary corrections.
Spelling and grammar were essential maybe 100 years ago but they are not right now, Mitra said.
Mitra said his phone corrects his spelling and he often skips grammar and writes in a cryptic way. We know what he means.
His statement is going down like a bucket of cold sick with the British government, which is rolling out a host of educational standards including one that will require students to take a spelling test involving 200 complex words near the end of grade school.
Conservatives love exams like the 11+ because it reminds them of their salad days at prep-school where they fagged the bigger boys without the front page tabloid coverage. The Conservatives want another exam for 11-year-olds that tests spelling, grammar and punctuation, launched this year.
But Mitra is one of the new breed of high tech educationalists. He has won a $1 million TED prize to found “cloud schools.” The goal is to allow children to learn from each other and from retired specialists.
In 1999 he conducted a series of Hole in the Wall experiments. He set up computer kiosks in poor areas of India where kids could play with computers. The goal was to show that kids could learn to use computers and the internet with no formal training and even without knowing English.
That particular experiment partially inspired the film “Slumdog Millionaire”.