I have three items to share with you this week, one of which made me laugh out loud – but more of that later.
First, Intellectual Takeout notes that “A Decline in Reading Skills Makes Geese for the Plucking“.
A teacher-friend of mine recently expressed sadness over the stagnation of her students. Before the pandemic she could see students steadily gaining ground. Now she was seeing zero progress on their tests—and maybe even some declines. Tests aren’t everything, she admitted, yet after struggling through online teaching and masks and other troubles, she was disheartened to see ground being lost.
Unfortunately, it appears my friend is just one of many teachers experiencing such discouragement. The effects of the pandemic are beginning to show up, and the results aren’t pretty, particularly in the area of reading for younger students.
. . .
… one of the biggest dangers facing this up-and-coming population that can’t read [is that] they will be all the more easily taken in by propaganda, sucked onto the conveyor belt of yes-men that do anything the media and government tell them to do.
. . .
The more parents read to children, the more thinking citizens we will have one day. And the more thinking citizens we have, the fewer geese there will be for the plucking.
There’s more at the link.
It’s hard to argue with the author’s thesis. I was blessed to grow up in a household with an abundance of books (over 3,000 volumes, including two full encyclopedias and several sets of Time-Life books on science, biology, geography and so on). It made a huge difference to my schooling. In my Matriculation year, I read over 700 books, over and above my schoolwork (yes, I kept a record of them as a study project). Intellectually, my siblings and I were years ahead of our calendar age. (Emotionally, not so much!) I remain grateful to my late parents for the head start that gave us in life.
Next, I came across ScribeFire, a blog editor for the Chrome and Firefox browsers that promises to provide a common interface for social media posts to Blogger, WordPress, and several other platforms. I haven’t tried it myself yet, but I’d like to hear from any readers who have – and/or who’ve tried other third-party blog editing software.
ScribeFire is a full-featured blog editor that integrates with your browser and lets you easily post to all of your blogs.
You can post to blogs from WordPress, Blogger, TypePad, Windows Live Spaces, Xanga, LiveJournal, or any other blog that supports the MetaWeblog or MovableType APIs.
You can edit and update existing posts. You can schedule posts for the future (if your blog allows that). You can delete posts. You can save drafts. You can tag and categorize. You can upload images. You can edit visually, or you can use HTML or Markdown. You can post to multiple blogs at once.
ScribeFire for Chrome has a simple interface that is so simple even a caveman could use it, and anything you’re working on is saved if you close the editor and restored when you come back.
Again, more at the link. If you’ve tried it, please tell us how you found it; and if you know of other, similar products, please tell us as well. It would be a blessing to be able to avoid the vagaries of different editors on different platforms, and use a common interface instead.
Finally, cartoonist Stephan Pastis shows us how to address authors.
I must try that approach!