Learning to type

My son, all of 8 years old, has started learning to type.  He’s figuring out what the home row means, & how his fingers don’t have to move all that distance to type just one letter, that he can do it with both hands, and things are not as complicated as the jumbled letters on the keyboard.  Sure, it confuses the bejesus out of him, but he keeps going on.

What’s the point of this post? Who knows, I just found it fascinating that age is just a number when it comes to learning. Kids probably learn much faster than than we give them credit for.

Thinking is knowing is thinking [Article]

Nicholas Carr quotes psychologist Daniel Willingham:

It’s hard for many people to conceive of thinking processes as intertwined with knowledge. Most people believe that thinking processes are akin to those of a calculator. A calculator has available a set of procedures  (addition, multiplication, and so on) that can manipulate numbers, and those procedures can be applied to any set of numbers. The data (the numbers) and the operations that manipulate the data are separate. Thus, if you learn a new thinking operation (for example, how to critically analyze historical documents), it seems like that operation should be applicable to all historical documents, just as a fancier calculator that computes sines can do so for all numbers.

 During the K – 12 years, developing a solid store of knowledge is essential to learning how to think. There’s still no substitute for a well-furnished mind.

Parents’ Harsh Words Might Make Teen Behaviors Worse

According to a study by the University of Pittsburgh,

The parents who used more harsh words when the child was 13 were more likely to see increases in their teenager’s conduct problems when asked again a year later. And the children who faced high levels of harsh verbal discipline were more likely to have symptoms of depression at age 14.

Spelling Bees and Indian Kids [Article]

You may have watched or followed the 86th Scripps National Spelling Bee contest in the US last week. 13 year old Arvind Mahankali won the championships. He is the sixth consecutive Indian-American winner of the Spelling Bee and the 11th in the past 15 years.Slate magazine wonders, & discovers, why Indian kids are so good at spelling.  There was some intense scrutiny on Twitter as well.