As Jim Burke has mentioned – quite brilliantly – writers today (and of the future) will require compositional skills in formats that consist of 3,000 words, 300 words, 30 words, 3 words and no words. (I am paraphrasing here; he’s much more eloquent.) The point is, that literacy is increasingly more diverse than ever and the challenges we face preparing our kids to successfully tackle the demands behind placed upon them are both dynamic and shape shifting.
However, when you look at the word counts above, I get the vibe that many forward thinking people (outside of persnickety teachers… like yours truly) are ready to throw the 3,000 word composition under the bus. They call it antiquated. Outmoded. Academic. 21rst century skill conversations revolve around “digital this” and “socially networked that” but rarely, if ever, pay homage to the value of the good ol’ fashioned long, thoughtful, richly textured essay.
Well, check this story out. If that ain’t proof that the ol’ bugger still ain’t got some life in it, nothing is.
Sorry, but I can’t recall yet seeing a story on how a tweet resulted in such an outpouring of generosity and goodness. I could be wrong, but having only 140 characters may be fun if you want to smarmily talk about the texture of your morning waffle. Yet, if you want to reach the movers and shakers of this world, as the 11 year old girl above proves, you are gonna need some chops with the written word.
Otherwise, all your gonna have is lightweight junk food for your intellectual meal. And man cannot live by smarmy waffle alone.