Wow whole bunch of old man takes about computers and not a single one about public schools being systematically defunded, dismantled, and squeezed in every way possible.


I worked as a teacher for a while until quite recently.

99% of public discourse on education, is based on the (traumatic or positive) individual experiences of people who went to school years if not decades ago, not people who actually know much about what they're talking about.


But what about the LGBT agenda that’s replacing math and reading education where children learn how to vote Democrat instead of learning how to read or multiply? /S


Sounds about right. I really do make an effort but when I am helping my kids with the New Math I am mentally screaming “why did they change this!?”. I do like the sightword system however. So yeah if I am getting a bit annoyed there are probably parents who are getting less annoyed and other parents getting very annoyed. Bell Curve.


when I am helping my kids with the New Math I am mentally screaming “why did they change this!?”.

I’m not sure exactly what you mean, but if you’re anything like many of the parents I’ve heard complain about modern math curriculums, you were probably taught that there’s a correct way to do every math problem and if you aren’t doing it that way then you’re doing it wrong. What modern curriculums do is teach children that there are multiple ways to get to the correct answer, so they can choose the methodology that is easiest for them to understand. Because not everyone’s brain works in the same way, and the old style of teaching sets up barriers for some students.

I got poor math grades when I was a teen because I didn’t always do the problems the way the teacher wanted us to do them, even though I got the right answers. I had come up with my own process. I scored almost perfect on the math SAT and ended up in computer science. Now, when my kids ask for help with their math homework, I see that they’re learning a bunch of different ways to do the problems. Not all of them are intuitive to me, but some of them are basically what I figured out on my own. I think it’s great.


“why did they change this!?”

It’s funny, as a child learning ‘old math’, I always thought “is this the only way to do it? Why are we doing it this way?”

Glad people are finding alternatives instead of just getting tunnel-visioned into doing what we’ve always done.

tigeruppercut, (edited )

I hope the sight word system isn’t another one of those programs to get phonics out of schools, because the last name something like that turned up under a different name it didn’t work out so well.


In what world do you think children have fewer resources at their disposal now than they did decades ago?


Because teachers are picking up the slack at the expense of their own financial and mental health.


Sure but that’s definitely not the only reason.…/reading-school-phonics.html


I never trust articles with adjectives like “unprecedented” or “worrying”

Its political season folks, gird your loins


This is a good point. Thank you for pointing it out


Though I'm loathe to admit it, I actually have found mathematics useful in my career (which I never believed I would when I was in school!). Although I worked in healthcare, I often had to calculate figures such as equipment costs vs. insurance reimbursements in my head. I was surprised so many of my younger colleagues couldn't do even simple calculations like 10% of a bill in their heads, I had to do it for them.

As for reading, I really believe you won't make it far without good reading skills. Maybe you can luck into being a mega-rock god or something where it isn't necessary, but otherwise I think I am more worried about people without reading and writing ability than people without math ability.


You are loathe? Or you loathe?


I assumed it was the same word for both, but apparently “loath” is the noun and “loathe” is the verb. So it would be you loathe or you are loath.


It's just an old expression, "I'm loathe to admit....." I realize it's not grammatically correct, it's something we old timers used to say.


I should've said, I am loathe to admit it. You're right. It's an old expression - I don't know if people really use it anymore outside of us boomers!


Millennial - definitely use it.

But I’m basically a boomer at heart, so there’s that.


As for reading, I really believe you won't make it far without good reading skills.

I'm just going to point out the easiest way to help someone develop better reading skills even when they don't want to work at it: always leave the subtitles on on the television. Always. There's studies showing that reading speed and comprehension increase when subtitles are routinely left on.


Yeah I have to do that anyway, since I can never understand most of the dialogue and my hearing isn't what it once was. And god forbid they have an irish or some other accent, I can't make out a thing without the subtitles!!


I always had subtitles on when playing video games as a kid.

It really enhanced my reading comprehension and writing.


That's a good way to get better at reading comprehension. In fact, it doesn't matter what you read, just that you read. I'm even a fan of comic books (at MY age) and graphic novels, sometimes I even pick up a section of the encyclopedia just to sit and read for fun.


Yeah we’re fucked, meanwhile in China they’re doing stoichiometry in third grade. I felt I would never use math too and then one day in law school the professor asked the class to do a quick calculation and called on a student who said “I’m not a math person, that’s why I’m here.” And the professor said something like “all law practice involves math and you could get sued or disbarred for getting it wrong, so you better become a math person while you’re here.” I’ve found it to be true, calculating damages, disbursing funds, accounting, sometines even physics questions, in the context of personal injury/medicine or products liability, even occupational health.


It's funny because I was one of those in school who always said, "I'll never NEVER use this stuff in my real job!" How wrong I was. And I wasn't terrible, I got good grades in math but it's never been my strongest subject. However it does come in quite handy in real life.


I was one of the kids in school who said that and it turned out to be true.

Reading, on the other hand, was very important to me. As well as history.


I don’t really consider doing arithmetic to be important for lawyers.

If you can use a calculator, all you need to do is understand the very simple concepts. This applies to the vast majority of people who use math in their everyday lives.


I guess it’s relative. To some, simple concepts that can be done in a calculator is serious math.

terryblanc, (edited )

It's not the first time I read something like this. But it's not always because of COVID, school closures and so on.
A lot of things depend on a student, and if they are not interested in education and do just the minimum, of course, such skills like reading, writing, math, and so on will become worse and worse. I'm at university now, and my brother is at school. His skills and knowledge at that age are worse than mine. And I don't know why it is so, but you know, if he doesn't know how to do tasks, he just skips them, and teachers are quite okay with that. But I can't do it. When I can't finish something, I'll do my best to do it. The hardest thing for me is writing something, but I look for examples, tips, and so on. Yesterday, I was working on my paper, and this site helped me out because I was stuck. That paper type is not that hard, but I had no idea what to write. I found some useful resources, and these examples helped me out.


Reading is important.

Math is not.


That’s just not true. Math helps build the basics of mathematical thinking which is useful throughout your whole life.


Basics of mathematical thinking? You mean problem solving?

samus12345, avatar

The future Republicans want.


Hard not to think that’s intentional. Ruling elites don’t need educated masses which are harder to condition and control. Populisms don’t need people to have critical capacity.

doublejay1999, avatar

1 out of 4 were low performers in maths, reading and science

So the bottom 25% were all in the bottom 25%?


Kind of, but if you take a bunch of maths PhD students, the bottom 25% will still get decent scores. I guess this just meant the bottom 25% was performing poorly not just compared to the top 75%, but also compared to a fixed limit.


This guy not understanding “decline” does a better job at explaining this article.


Let’s say “low performing” means you scored 20% or lower on the test. We’d write that as “25% scored 20% or lower.” But you could move the measure of “low” to whatever.

It’s not “the bottom 25% were in the bottom 25%.” It’s “25% met the criteria for low.” Those are different things.

…unless this is a /s that I’m too tired or socially inept to process. i’m trying to be helpful.


Controversial take: go back to pencil and paper and less screen time.

Before anyone thinks I hate computers, I’ve a BSCpE and am an active sr developer.


Controversial take: Pay people what they're worth so only 1 adult in the house needs to work 1 job for 40 hours to provide for the family. This will free up that parent (in a single parent household) or free up 1 parent (in a dual parent household); to help with schooling.


Controversial take: keep the populace ignorant so they don’t get ideas.

Ragdoll_X, avatar

Controversial take: unga bunga, bunga unga


A lot of people don’t think it bungas like it ungas, bungas ungas.

Haus avatar

And position dumbasses as role models... the willfully ignorant and screechingly loud kind.


That's the Utah way. Now book banning has gone so far as to remove anything that doesn't include religious or Mormon texts from our kids' schools. It's much easier to herd sheep who don't ever develop the ability (or desire) to think for themselves.

doublejay1999, avatar


Ragdoll_X, (edited ) avatar

It is absolutely true that increasing income can improve parenting and by extension the outcomes of kids, but there is also evidence that using computers too much can be detrimental for their education.

Really it’s no different than how these things affect us adults: We all know that social media is trying to monopolize our attention, and that it’s affecting our attention spans and mental health. Although arguably for kids it’s even worse since their brains are still in development.


I was thinking of this (how computer use affects the brain) recently and wondered if there is any evidence on how driving affects the brain. Like, humans have only been able to go faster than a horse for like the last ten minutes of our existence; is the brain even wired to make sense of such accessible travel without piquing our subconscious fight or fight response? Like do we get a dose of adrenaline and cortisol every time we get on the highway? Maybe that’s all farvagnugen is.


Controversial maybe, but true. Less screen time would benefit all of us and really I don't think kids NEED phones on them in school.

Of course I'm a Boomer and I'm on my soapbox, and here we go again with "back in my day..." we didn't have cell phones and it was actually nice to feel independent of having to check in with other people throughout the day. I still don't see the attraction, but I know that prying kids from their cell phones will be a Herculean task.


The problem is that a lot of (admittedly overstretched) parents use the phone as a pacifier and don't monitor use much if at all.

Tommy's being a little shit? Give him the phone so he's distracted.

Of course, if little Tommy's never learnt to deal with being bored, keeping quiet for half an hour, and never learnt to concentrate for longer than the length of a tiktok video, he's going to have trouble adapting to education.


I agree with this. However, I was more talking about the use of computers for everything. Reading, math, etc are done in computers now. Students retain more information when they have to write it out on paper.


Also I think writing things out is a great way to just improve your basic writing skills. And also, it sometimes can help clarify your feelings about something. Like once I was writing a letter (just for fun) to complain about a product I bought and when writing it, it became apparent it wasn't the product I was mad at but myself for making a snap purchase without thinking it through. But, I like writing, and I realize it isn't everyone's favorite way to pass the time.


I think we should go back to abacuses and sundials.

You might not always have paper and pencil.


I feel like kids (hell, I would also) have been smarter if they used platforms like Reddit/Lemmy etc to learn and discourse constantly. I learn way more in these environments than I ever learned in school. I write (not quite essays but still extended body of writing) just by willingly engaging here. You would have had to pull teeth most of the time to get anything out of me in any comparable sense back then. YMMV


Part of that may be just that you’re older and more mature now than when you were a high schooler. Encouraging kids to go on Lemmy and Reddit would just lead to most of them screwing around and looking at memes, not learning.

PugJesus avatar

While some of that is true, as a kid I got involved in online forums and the exposure to ideas there, I think, did help broaden my horizons and spark interest in topics that school would not necessarily have cultivated in me in the same way.


As a kid I got super into runescape. Screwing around? Certainly. But also talking with people, studying guides, learning routes for xp farming and I guess even basic economics while saving for a party hat lol. Spent time on the forums as well.

I wonder if engaging with all that text based content made me more inclined to stick around forum style sites such as lemmy, or if even all the way back then that type of experience just appealed to me because of the type of person I am.

KoboldCoterie, avatar

I learned to type playing Everquest. I could barely manage 15 WPM when I got the game, and in a year or two of playing, with no other real typing going on, I could do 100+ WPM. Schools in my area hadn’t really adopted computers in classrooms; there was a computer lab but no real computer related classes, and there were computers in the library for research, but I didn’t have any real exposure… until Everquest.

ivanafterall avatar

Typing of the Dead definitely upped my speed back in the day.


Same experience with EverQuest.

I credit that game with helping me get over my shyness.

Uranium3006 avatar

I wonder, what differentiates us from the teens who'd just look at memes and nothing else?

PugJesus avatar

Some of it is probably pre-existing interest, but a large part of it is just luck/accessibility. I only stumbled into forums while looking for online free games to play. The game had a forum that had trending forum topics on the sidebar, and eventually curiousity overtook me.

Uranium3006 avatar

I did a decent amount of learning as a teen. I'd have done more if not for the depression


Nah, it was lack of awareness of it (like nobody ever “showed” it to me so I didn’t know to look for it) and lack of a good 3rd party app to make it palatable. Apollo was revolutionary to me when I discovered it in that regard.

BraveSirZaphod avatar

There's the underlying basis that, on Reddit etc, you're generally viewing and discussing topics that you're already interested in, which is a massive hurdle.

I'm presuming you haven't learned much about the Kardashians on Reddit. You could, if you cared about them. I don't see how it's meaningfully different for math or anything else.

DagonPie, avatar

Its them dang tiktaks

PugJesus avatar

"The equivalent of losing three quarters of a year of learning"

"COVID probably played some role but I would not overrate it"



Cognitive decline appeared in article writing as those illiterate, illogical people found work.

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