It Just Is

Garrison Keillor wrote a nice little op-ed about the coming end of the publishing era. It’s bittersweet and will happen before we know it. I have a feeling that children’s books will be the last to go. First to go for kids will be reference materials: dictionaries, atlases, thesauri, etc. Print encyclopedias have already been replaced. Is this good? Bad? I don’t know, but I heard someone using the simple term, “It just is!”

I love watching my students struggle through the 500 page children’s dictionary at the beginning of the school year, honing their alphabetization skills, and having to learn how to use key words. At this time of year, many can flip through with greater ease and find a word in a fraction of the time it use to take them. They worked hard to build this skill. Of course, now they can also type the first two or three letters on an electronic dictionary (or google) and autofill will take care of the rest. In an even shorter time, they find what they were searching for. Some will claim technology is more efficient and therefore better. Other’s will lament the loss of those dictionary skills. Is it good? Is it bad? Perhaps it just is.”

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