British children to study Twitter in school
In U.K. primary schools' curriculum, it's out with the 1939-45 War (or the 1942-45 War, as it's known in some parts) and in with Twitter and Wikipedia. Will the queen object?
The British are looking very hard in the mirror these days. Perhaps it is related to the belief that the country is running out of money.
In any case, who would have thought that they would choose to give up mandatory education about the Second World War and begin teaching their children about Twitter and Wikipedia?
The plans, leaked to the dastardly press (perhaps some devious cove just twittered a tiny URL to a password-protected site), give children relief from having to learn too many dates, place names, and pesky scientific formulas. You can google all that nonsense, anyway.
But if you can't tweet your progress in toilet training, what kind of adult can you expect to become?
The plans declare that children must leave primary school (to which children go until the unofficial drinking age of 11) fully conversant with the delights of blogging, podcasting, Wikipedia, and Twitter.
While I am aghast that Facebook appears not to be specifically mentioned, my eyes become moist when I see that children will be required to gain "fluency" in keyboard skills and learn to use a spellchecker.
Naturally, talking--and, presumably, typing--heads have already offered their 60 pence worth on the topic. Teresa Cremin, president of the U.K. Literary Association, worries about a lack of drama and "no emphasis on reading for pleasure."
Madam, please don't worry. We all read Twitter for pleasure. Can there be any other reason?
Other British critics seem to be worried that Twitter and Wikipedia are merely fads. But ladies and gentlemen, you are the great nation that brought us lasting pleasures such as "Dancing with the Stars," "American Idol," and the Dyson vacuum cleaner thingy. Things that the whole world marvels at and studies every day.
The creators of Twitter and Wikipedia can only hope to match the enduring quality of some of the great British contributions to history, science, and culture.