It’s a whole new language

If you ever walk into a computer store and start chatting with someone who knows their stuff, you quickly realize that this is something completely different.  For years, I worked with teachers providing support and ideas so that they could move along the cutting edge in their classroom.  You’ve got to walk the walk, talk the talk.

It was a real challenge at time when you try to help out with problems with a “thingy” or a “deally”.

Going through school, parts of that language certainly weren’t part of our curriculum.  A lot of it wasn’t even invented yet.

You can’t blame anyone in particular.  Talk to an English teacher and they’ll let you know that the English language is a living changing entity.  Want proof?  Check out this list of Recent Updates to the Oxford Dictionaries.

Looking through the list, I see some topics that can clearly be blamed on attributed to modern technology.

  • concern troll
  • selfie stick
  • cyberwarrior
  • upvote
  • downvote
  • YouTuber
  • Redditor
  • pwn

and the list goes on.  You get the idea.

Add this to the already burgeoning list of terms that we already use (sometimes incorrectly) and we have the challenge of the teacher of technology.  Heck, not just them, but any teacher who wants to know what’s happening or even just understand conversations with technical people or students.

I would defy you to point to a book where you could find these terms.  Even a dictionary wouldn’t suffice; some words or terms just haven’t been voted in yet.

Peter Vogel is out to fix this.  He’s crowd sourcing a list of terms for his class via a public Google collaborative document.  And, he’s inviting all to help him collect terms that he’d like to use in one of his classes.

It’s an interesting list.  If you’re on top of this sort of thing, he’s inviting anyone to add to the list of terms at the bottom of the document.  Turn on the history of the document to see how the list was built and what terms have been rejected.

You might find the list helpful for yourself.

Now, this is of course, just a start.  The difficult part will be to write definitions for them so that you can use them intelligently in a sentence. 

Then, impress the heck out of your school’s technician on their next visit.

Note:  In all fairness, Alfred Thompson was first tagged to participate in this and then he tagged me to get involved.  Alfred blogged about it yesterday here.

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