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The song is “Run” by Tiggs Da Author featuring Lady Leshurr. Catchy. The first six seconds of the commercial feature a string of typewriters. Can you name them?

Also, goodbye QWERTY? According to the Wall Street Journal, Apple is working on a new keyboard:

Although the Apple keyboard would be a standard feature, it is likely to hold added appeal to those who frequently type in more than one language, including people in international business and students. People who use software with specialized commands, such as graphic designers and gamers, are also expected to welcome the versatility of the device.

For everyday users, the new keyboard would also make it easy for people to spice up their communications with emojis and other symbolic substitutes for words, which have gained widespread popularity through the spread of smartphones and social networking apps.

It’s Goodbye QWERTY, Hello Emojis as Apple Rethinks the Keyboard (Wall Street Journal)

© 2016, Mark Adams. All rights reserved.

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Typewriters, girls, and drama…

typewriter-joke-daily-news-democrat-huntington-indiana-jan-15-1907

Ouch! From the Daily News-Democrat (Huntington, Indiana), Jan. 15, 1907.

Traveling in the Central African Republic in 2012, I spotted a sign in a cafe reading, “Wanted, Pretty Girls for New Airline.” I did not know that people still regarded woman as “girls” in the 21st century, let alone that they could be seeking “pretty girls.” Alas, CRA is yet a developing country.

In the late 19th century and through a good part of the 20th, women were often called “girls,” and typists “typewriters.” A sampling of news and humor from this period serves as an interesting time capsule —

typewriter-joke-the-atlanta-constitution-atlanta-georgia-oct-28-1888

Call this a reversal of fortune! From the Atlanta Constitution (Atlanta, Georgia), Oct. 28, 1888.

Put a cork in it! From The Daily Times (New Brunswick, New Jersey), May 25, 1896.

Put a cork in it! From The Daily Times (New Brunswick, New Jersey), May 25, 1896.

Wickedly funny. From the Daily Citizen (Iowa City, Iowa), June 21, 1892.

Wickedly funny. From the Daily Citizen (Iowa City, Iowa), June 21, 1892.

Two parts of one clipping:

typewriter-boon-1-the-philadelphia-inquirer-philadelphia-pennsylvania-%c2%b7-wed-aug-10-1892

typewriter-boon-2-the-philadelphia-inquirer-philadelphia-pennsylvania-aug-10-1892

From the Philadelphia Inquirer (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania), Aug. 10, 1892.

© 2016, Mark Adams. All rights reserved.

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Typewriters in the classroom

From The Typewriter: Time-tested Tool for Teaching Reading and Writing, by Ann Cochran and George E. Mason (1978):

“The children who had typing instruction actually spent only an hour or two a week at the typewriter, yet at the end of the first year they outperformed the nontyping pupils in reading.”

As a school teacher, I often wonder what extent technology advances learning. Each day, more than 100 of my students log into their Chromebooks, accessing curriculum and submitting assignments. Granted, Chromebooks are not typewriters, but they are the modern equivalent. What is it about typing — mechanically or digitally — that enhances learning?

As an educator, I might offer that, as typewriters/computers are tools of creation, these devices enable students to create and through creation to learn. But if these devices distract, learning can’t occur. Distraction-free typewriters might have the advantage, might still have a place in the classroom.

Below is an article on typewriters and the classroom from the 1930s —

From the Pottstown Mercury (Pottstown, Pennsylvania), Jan. 19, 1934.

From the Pottstown Mercury (Pottstown, Pennsylvania), Jan. 19, 1934.

© 2016, Mark Adams. All rights reserved.

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