New Media: how will it affect API’s?

A news segment had included coverage about Indiana public schools getting rid of cursive writing education, instead opting for keyboard proficiency.  Read more here.

While the increasing move from penmanship to keyboard words-per-minute affects all of the US, I  wanted to jump in with some food for thought on how it will specifically affect API’s.   After all,  in a study by the School of Communication at Northwestern University, research showed that Asian Americans–on average–had the most computer use out of other American youth of different races (although the study only used white, black, and Hispanic).  So, my question is whether this increased use of new media and technology among API’s will result in a shift of culture.

Already, we live in an age in which children as young as six begin computer proficiency education in school.  We can type, and it’s great, but what are the implications for those of us who live in multicultural homes.  While I’m a boring monolinguist, I’ve talked to a couple friends about how difficult it is to keep up with writing in Chinese or other Asian languages that have characters.  My Auntie is Korean, but she never writes it since her computer keyboard allows her to type in Korean or English.

Language is extremely important to us, and living in an era of texting, typing, and Tweet talk may be robbing some of us of fundamental ties to our cultures.  Perhaps we’re not quite there yet (phew!), but the way society is going–like how I can electronically sign important documents for school loans, but my cursive writing looks horrible–we may need to think more deeply about new areas of cultural preservation in the future.


Jillian Toda is a native Oregonian from the Columbia River Gorge, where her great grandparents farmed upon arriving to America from Japan.   She is currently a student at Willamette University earning a B.A. in Rhetoric and Media Studies, with a minor in American Ethnic Studies.  She is also working toward an M.B.A. at Atkinson Graduate School of Management in Salem, OR.   New to blogging, Jillian’s personal blog can be found at

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