Remedial Information Literacy. I ain’t got all the fancy talk fer it, so I’m gonna call it mouth-texting.
As I watched my class struggle, I came to realize that conversational competence might be the single-most overlooked skill we fail to teach students. Kids spend hours each day engaging with ideas and one another through screens—but rarely do they have an opportunity to truly hone their interpersonal communication skills. Admittedly, teenage awkwardness and nerves play a role in difficult conversations. But students’ reliance on screens for communication is detracting—and distracting—from their engagement in real-time talk.
It might sound like a funny question, but we need to ask ourselves: Is there any 21st-century skill more important than being able to sustain confident, coherent conversation?