Today I got into a conversation with my coworkers about how cursive is all but dead with our students. We adults all grew up learning it and were often forced to use it even when we didn't want...
Today I got into a conversation with my coworkers about how cursive is all but dead with our students. We adults all grew up learning it and were often forced to use it even when we didn't want to, but it has been out of vogue in American schools for a while now, so most of our students legitimately don't know how to read or write it. Opinions as to whether or not this was a bad thing were split. Some people considered the skill unnecessary and were happy to see it go the way of the dinosaur. Life moves on, they said--and the skill was inessential anyway because students could simply print instead. Some even took things a step further and argued that print was also going to become outdated with the prevalence of computers and phones. Nevertheless, others argued that cursive was important and valuable for kids to learn, particularly if they wanted to be able to sign their names or read documents written in script (e.g. old letters from family members, historical documents, etc.)
The discussion then continued to analog clocks. Being able to read them is still technically in the curriculum standards for many states, but it's the kind of thing that often gets briefly touched on and then discarded. Because digital clocks are so prevalent now, many students never practice reading analog clocks outside of those specific lessons, and thus they never truly master it. While more of our students can read analog clocks than can write in cursive, it too seems to be headed down the path to extinction. Opinions about whether this was bad were much stronger, with nearly everyone agreeing that it's a worthwhile skill rather than something inessential.
The conversation made me curious to hear what everyone here thinks--not just about these but about dying skills in general. What are some skills that you believe will fall out of widespread use in the coming years? Is their departure a good/bad thing?