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University back to pen and paper for contest

Ewha Womans University held an old-fashioned essay contest to counter student’s growing dependency on electronic devices, officials said Tuesday.

The Seoul university said it held its first ever book report writing contest Monday banning the use of computers, cellphones and other electronic devices in an effort to “unplug” the students.

In one of the most wired countries in the world, the contest was a new experience for most.

“I initially applied because I thought it would be fun, but actually sitting down with only a pen and paper was daunting,” said one student.

“It was really hard because it wasn’t improvising but you have to have everything organized in your head, and when I actually wrote it I was proud to have experienced another way of thinking,” she added.

“It was new to have to think the whole essay through before you start the first paragraph,” said another participant.

The contest had some 450 participants, far exceeding the school’s estimated 100.

“I wanted to create a contest through which the students could take ownership over something as an intellectual,” said Kim Eun-shil, head of the Center for General Education which was in charge of the event.

“I hope that using their own minds and hands without the help of electronic devices to organize their thoughts will be a good experience for the students who don’t usually get to experience an old-fashioned essay contest,” said Kim.



By Robert Lee
(robert@heraldcorp.com)
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