Are basic skills like handwriting, reading maps and quick maths becoming obsolete with the integration of technology in society?

With how common and available technology is these days are these basic skills being cast aside?
Kids are starting with iPads in primary school and cashiers don’t have to count their change back anymore, the till does it for them to minimise mistakes.

Are these skills still needed or are they ok to fade out?
Are basic skills like handwriting, reading maps and quick maths becoming obsolete with the integration of technology in society?

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Most Helpful Girl

  • I'm really worried people won't be able to write with pen and paper anymore. Most schoolwork is done by computer these days. Even the matriculation exams are done by computer now! Those used to be the pivotal point where all our education came to use, penmanship included. It seems like a disaster to do it on a computer now. I dont think these basic skills should be disregarded, because technology can always fail. You need to be able to read a map, to write with a pen, count at least the basic stuff without a calculator, to learn languages (and not use Google translate). I think it's also good to learn to use technology in school, but they shouldn't replace the basic things.

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    • 7d

      I agree, I think there are still some fundamental skills that need to be kept on top of newer ways of doing things using technology. Someone above said kids can’t read an analog clock 😐 I mean come on!

Most Helpful Guy

  • I still think they're essential skills.

    I don't really trust technology, and if the shit hit the fan (as I believe that it could), I have no intentions whatsoever of being one of the people who is dead within a week, due to over dependence on technology.

    I sound a bit like a prepper, but so much of it is just common sense...

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What Girls & Guys Said

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  • Handwriting yeah for sure. My handwriting has really degraded. The only time I ever wrote really is on white boards.

    Hadn’t thought about map reading. I remember when I was a kid my parents always kept the road atlases and travel time meant getting those plus regional road maps. ... no more

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    • 7d

      Mine too... I’ve been on leave from work for 7 months and not only has my handwriting degraded significantly I actually feel dumber

  • Good question, tbh my handwriting is rubbish, but I still have to write for exams (can't just TeX all of them into pdf 😂). But people still need to learn how to write before they learn how to type keyboard. What currently happening is perhaps handwriting of some young people looks worse because we use that skill less, but in the future, handwriting will be digitized, you will write on the touch surface of your device, the advanced UI is going into that direction (touch and write) and it is probably the keyboard and typing like we are doing right now that might become obsolete :)) , so for handwriting, no.

    quick maths: I assume like most people by this you mean the ability to compute something like 4% of 75 immediately in their head (quite easy if you notice that multiplication is commutative :)) ), this one might be obsolete, it probably already is. Now we have small devices with high computing power, quick mental arithmetic is no longer a need. However it is becoming something like an art, (actually the art here is not about computing, but how to estimate and compare quantities without having to compute them exactly. The key here is, the "=" might not be as useful as the ">" and the "<": for example, very often, you throw the numbers into your calculator and it gives you like 9 digits and only the first 2 are meaningful, then you realize you already get these 2 digits from a simple estimate like a < x < b)

    reading maps: ... probably, with Google map and GPS and the machine learning algorithms that tell you the shortest path to the destination. I think the last time I read a map was when I first arrived at the campus. It's not a skill I need much, but it's a simple skill and I can use maps as long as the people who made the map were sensible folks and adhere to the rules of cartography :)

    I think in the future the basic skills will evolve into something else: programming (kids can make Apps and sell on iStore, and adults can use Python to automate a lot of things in their daily work), data analysis (how to filter, analyze or make sense of the huge amount of information you receive from the internet) and... abstractions that help you learn new things quickly (because technologies come and go, what you need to know is the invariant principles that govern them, for that you need the ability to abstract)

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  • Maths is inherently fundamental, you can't really discount it ever.

    As for handwriting, I think at the very least, it's a good backup tool. The main reason is that it isn't as reliant on technology and just having it in the event tech becomes unavailable could prove to be extremely valuable.

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  • I say it's essential, but it's not as important as you knows what basic technology is. Since everything is becoming digital anyway. They already getting rid of paper in place for tablets, and putting everything on the digital Network. Writing things don't always improve memory. And I believe it is it's definitely making us lazy.

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  • What happens to all the tech when you loose power?
    You go back to the old basic skills If you cannot read & write - your Illiterate, Cannot read a map - your lost. Cannot do simple maths - you get ripped off. These are everyday skills loose them at your peril, without them it is YOU who is at the disadvantage and the victim of everybody who has them.

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  • map reading may be an issue. my writing is going down hill. probably.

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  • I can't wait to laugh when technology goes so far and then we lose it all. It'll be funny because of how stupid the human race is. To answer your question. Yes it is becoming obsolete. Pretty soon nobody will be able to write, buy anything that isn't online, read maps, or possibly think for themselves. We're not prepared for the possibility if technology or the internet go away. So we deserve whatever happens to us. I will show no pity.

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  • They are definitely not obsolete.
    You better have these skills when your phone dies, because it will, and particularly when you need it most.

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    • 7d

      They’re becoming obsolete though, as there is less focus on maintaining them for the younger generation that have a much higher dependency on technology

  • They aren't teaching cursive in schools and kids in older elementary don't know how to tell time unless it's digital so I'd say so yeah

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  • Yes, also most people dont understand how the technology works they are using. Designers have to design products that are literally fool proof so tech illiterate people are not afraid to buy them. Its kind of like a technological dark age. Low technology is being replaced by high technology at an incredibly fast speed.

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  • Skills like math or reading maps or handwriting may seem to not be used so much today. But they have a big influence on our brains as we grow up. Math helps us develop logical thinking and problem solving. Even if you don't realise it or don't see any equations in your day to day life. You are constantly using math when dealing with problems or cooking or cleaning or even watching TV. We aren't taught math incase we encounter a random equation. But it's just there to help us think logically.

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  • Maths will always be necessary but when it comes to map reading that is pointless now in the paper form but teaching people how to use digital maps, gps and how to navigate with nothing to help is important and handwriting well you need to know how to write but nothing special, typing should be taught more in schools.

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  • Yes. People are already not even taking an interest in cursive writing. Schools are not teaching basics and as technology abounds, then the need for pen on water type things will go down or away and we will be with just electronic based things to communicate other than direct talking.

    Letters and emails are not even as popular now. How many people do you know that thoroughly communicate via email back and forth or write letters through the mail, except jail and prison inmates?

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  • It's still needed. As much as we like to rely on technology, it isn't perfect and it fails. I have only been a cashier at my job for a few months now but already the system has gone down a few times and I had to take orders and do math in my head so it definitely is still needed but some people seem to forget that technology fails as much as we'd like it not to.

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  • Yes but most skills that have been lost are things any retard can learn in 5 minutes if they knew their life depended on it. More importantly are kids today to soft to ever feel/know when it’s time to step it up instead of expecting others to save them

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  • Don't these skills make us more clever and improve our intelligence?
    I think if we put them aside, we'll be less intelligent in the future!

    It is quite a workout for your mind when you do quick maths and if you start using calculators or other machines to do the calculations for you, you won't get this kind of workout for your mind.

    What do you think?

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  • I don't know about the reading maps part, I was never taught that and never needed it but as for the handwriting and math no kids are still taught these basic things in the UK...

    Basics are never going to be obsolete but technology should be embraced and used alongside these things.

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  • I hope not, otherwise we're gonna have one useless society if technology should ever fail. I might be biased, but it's actually kind of embarrassing how many people don't know how to read a map.

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  • I have a mild fear of WWIII
    So I think it's better to have some basic skills to survive and rebuild society.
    Quick maths won't become obsolete until we have some reliable integrated calculators in our brains

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  • Absolutely not.
    The technology nature resources and society climate are at a point there it's high likelihood that we are going go in to a technological dark age there we will lose most of it to a stage we wure at WW1 with electronics and gradually lose knowledge that are only stored on electrical storage devices.

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  • I love technogly but anytime your critical thinking skills are being replaced by modern technogly especially in our daily activities it causes the brain to become lazy and that is a path to disaster that leads people who don't or refuse to think for themselves but rather let a machine or someone do it for them.

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  • Only geographers learn maps, calligraphers learn handwriting and secretaries learn typing nowadays.

    That said I can type at 30 wpm from an after school typing club I took in middle school. Probably the only valuable skill coming out of middle school I learned. 😂

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  • Yeah, technology will probably make this obsolete. But…also not. There might be option to integrate tech into your body. CPU, memory… So the stupid, unreliable biological platform can ba better.

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  • Math skills are necessary, though how we are teaching it, it's terrible. As for handwriting, I mean it's still important for writing things on the side, but I remember everyone used to keep pushing me to get a neat handwriting.

    I will say, we don't need cursive. Cursive is just an art some people enjoy.

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  • Honestly, speaking as someone who is experiencing this in school, I can say it is dramatically changing, we no longer learn cursive handwriting, but mapping is taught in geography.

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  • No. They are essential. You should be able to get by even when your battery dies.

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    • 7d

      But they aren’t treated as essential anymore... that’s kind of my point...

  • They are becoming obsolete but kids should be taught about reading maths, school emphasising on quick maths and handwriting

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  • I think people should be able to do simple arithmetic in their head.

    I can't complain much about handwriting because mine has always been terrible. As me to write in cursive a letter that isn't in my name and I'm in trouble.

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  • Yes i believe so to the point it's going. to end up being useless knowledge the future history books to. the future. kids are. going. to laugh and. say that sucks they had. to do. that , what was the point lol

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  • Unfortunately so. Sometimes you need to write short notes to someone and people are losing that ability. And even with all the math that is performed by machines, people often need to understand not only how to do something, but also why it is done that way. And in he Navy, even with all the fancy computers, we still had to understand what we saw, whether it was on paper or a screen. I was not taught mapping skills in school, so you can gain those outside of schools, but however you gain them, they are sometimes necessary.

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  • Absolutely. My kids barely learned cursive and would be helpless without GPS.

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  • Yes. But I don't really see why it matters. If there was a digital apocalypse, people would soon lern handwriting and maps again. It's not hard , it's just digital is better.

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  • Handwriting I would say is, even though it's kind of a good thing so we don't use so much paper, reading maps not so much because gps have maps on them, video games have maps in them, some jobs require maps...

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  • I would say so YES
    I even wrote on my math quiz, "the only math I need to know is currency and temperature conversions, and I can have the computer do that for me"

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  • Basic math is not being done away with. Having good handwriting doesn’t matter unless your work requires you to. Most people don’t need paper maps.

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  • I don't think so. Practical skills are always useful.

    If anything people are to reliant on technology. What happens if you are driving through a dead zone and can't use GPS and have to use a map? Wouldn't it be nice to know how to read one.

    I go out of my way to learn practical skills like those and the ones you mentioned because there will always be a time and a place where they will come in handy.

    Plus with basic skills like that we as humans only become dumber and more and more reliant on tech to solve our problems rather then innovating and being creative and fixing them ourselves or relying on those practical skills we were taught.

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  • Orienteering and mathematics are always useful. Handwriting is going out though.

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  • It's always been that way. Look at old tests from say 1900 and most of us would be clueless as technology has rendered a lot of things obsolete.

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  • No. You need a foundation of knowledge and basic skills to move to the next layer.

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  • It depends on the person, for some these are basic skills and some never know how to use those skills

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  • Maybe they aren't "essential", but they are still useful... Technology should be used for convenience, not something to depend on

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  • Sounds like they are. The focus, as you point out, is more on technology and screens. It's amazing, isn't it?

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  • These skills need to be evolved according to existing tech

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  • they are necessary to function in everyday society and technology is unreliable and not bullet-proof

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  • Of course.

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  • No way, those are absolutely essential skills

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  • What do you mean by "quick maths"?

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  • Too much technology is cancer

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  • yes but we won't go back to that way

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  • I will honestly say yes. When i was in middle school 2011-2012, the highschoolers and most in my class didn't know cursive handwriting. They had to learn before graduation. The only reason i knew cursive was because i was a transfer from another school. They were fascinated when i wrote papers in cursive but couldnt read it lol.

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