September 27th, 2011
According to a Pew Research Center survey conducted in the spring:
Young adults are the most avid texters by a wide margin. Cell owners between the ages of 18 and 24 exchange an average of 109.5 messages on a normal day—that works out to more than 3,200 texts per month—and the typical or median cell owner in this age group sends or receives 50 messages per day (or 1500 messages per month).
Here’s how the rest of the nation breaks down.
Wow! According to this table, I’m over 65!
Read the whole report.
This reminds me of a Dilbert I saw recently.
I’m with Dilbert, but our students are not.
Here are two ways to use text messaging with students:
- post announcements to Twitter and have students follow via text message
- use Google Voice to have students text their questions to your email
August 9th, 2011
The complaint goes something like this, “Walk into any classroom and it will look a lot like it did 75 years ago.” What does that mean? Bridges look a lot like they did 75 years ago too. The comment is getting as old as the photos of single room classroom critics show while they make it.
March 29th, 2011
Here’s my response to all the “bad teacher” claims out there. Find your career.
March 18th, 2011
Today I gave a presentation at the WSST conference on cheating in the classroom. Below are the quotes, articles, videos, and books I shared.
Looking for a place to start? I highly recommend this book:
Cheating in School: What We Know and What We Can Do
Much of today’s talk came from this book. For example, here are a few quotes from the book that caught my eye:
Persistent student cheating may corrupt a child’s character and lead to a devaluing of trust, fairness, respect, responsibility, and honesty as fundamentals in a just society.
[cheating in school] may form a habit that persists and transitions into an adult’s work and life habits
March 6th, 2011
Despite my love for computers, I’m not strong when it comes to typing. The idea of retyping something makes me cringe.
That’s why I was so happy to stumble upon Online OCR.
Out with the old and in with the new
Using optical character recognition (OCR), this site will take any old document that you’ve scanned in as a PDF and convert it to editable text.
December 10th, 2010
Take a look at this week’s cover of Newsweek which featured an article by Michelle Rhee. Rhee, former chancellor of schools in Washington, D.C., writes about the need for school reform nationwide. Yet, there she sits on newsstands throughout the country in a staged but dated view of the classroom.
If I asked you to image heath care reform, what pictures would you conjure up in your mind? Is it a nurse in an all white uniform sporting the white nurse’s cap? Would your nurse be standing in front of a 1940s era operating table?
How about transportation reform? Do you think of a family getting into a 1957 Chevy Bel Air?
Would you imagine energy reform with the coal dusted faces of miners? I doubt any of these images come to mind.
Yet we continue to depict education with images of old-time desks, rundown chalkboards, and a stack of weathered books.
This does nothing to show Americans the new challenges our schools face. These images only teach the public that school is just like it was when they were there.
It cements the idea that “what was good enough for students in my day is good enough for students today.”
October 18th, 2010
It has been about a month since we changed our electronic devices policy at our school but I’m still catching student using their phones in class.
However, I approve of most of the use (as shown below).
Yet, a few students have tried to sneak texting sessions at the wrong time. At first I was disappointed. I thought, “We had an agreement.”
However, I quickly remembered that my students are still getting use to their new found freedoms.
From now on, I plan to give a “gadgets in school” speech every few weeks. Like most rules, we all need reminders from time to time.
October 5th, 2010
I use Readability to display news stories in class.
Readability is a simple tool that makes reading on the Web more enjoyable by removing the clutter around what you’re reading.
Go from this:
September 30th, 2010
Good news everyone! My school just got Wi-Fi throughout the building. However, I think it’s only a matter of time before someone asks, “what’s all that Wi-Fi going to do to our bodies?”
Some people take the question even farther and claim to have electromagnetic hypersensitivity or EHS. The ‘victims’ of EHS claim to experience all sorts of symptoms from headaches to skin rashes to nausea. However, the connection between the symptoms and the radio waves have been difficult to detect.
…not one of 46 blind and double-blind studies of EHS has identified a credible correlation between the ailments and any radio wave or magnetic field.
Psychiatry researcher James Rubin refers to EHS as a “nocebo effect.” Without evidence, people worry that something new will cause problems and they begin to look for those problems. It’s starting with something to blame and later finding a reason to blame it.
The trouble is that this sort of logic doesn’t require evidence to start pointing fingers in our school. Congested? Blame the new markers. Headache? Maybe its the new volleyballs in gym class.
If we have to blame something that ails us, I say we pick large class sizes.
September 22nd, 2010
Want to share a website but the URL is just too long? Try Snipurl.
There are many URL shortening sites available but I like Snipurl the best because it allows you to create custom URLs without having to create an account.