Wired from the womb: “We are looking at a generation that can’t not text.”

Top students tell me all the time that they watch television while doing their homework. This doesn’t surprise psychology professor Larry D. Rosen.

I had always imagined valedictorians and salutatorians buried in their books at night, never looking up from their chemistry homework and certainly not watching “Jersey Shore.”

But Rosen’s own daughter — valedictorian of her high school and now a Yale student — did her homework while watching television, listening to her iPod and trading text messages with friends, says Rosen, author of the new book “Rewired,” which examines how the iGeneration — children born in the 1990s and beyond — learn.

A longtime researcher on the impact of technology, Rosen says we are faced with a new breed of learners for whom doing more than one thing at a time is a way of life.

“This is a generation that has multi-tasked from birth and that is what they do from morning to night,” he says.

And that generation is now running headlong into an education system predicated on focusing on one thing at a time, a culture clash that’s producing bored students, unread textbooks and frustrated teachers.

Students who complained about “death by lecture” now lament “death by PowerPoint” as their teacher’s grasp of technology lags their own.

Rosen understands that many of today’s teachers were educated by long lectures and are intimidated by the fast-changing technologies that students take for granted and use hourly, including texting, which has now replaced face-to-face conversation as the No. 1 way teens communicate.

But, the California State University professor says, “They didn’t develop this technology. We did. We made it easy for them to communicate in a multitude of ways. We should not be surprised that we give them a tool and they want to use it.”

In resisting integrating popular technologies in their classrooms, Rosen says, “Teachers are saying ‘I was bored learning the Bill of Rights, so therefore that is the way I am going to teach it.’ I am suggesting that there are a lot of resources in the world to learn the Bill of Rights that don’t involve listening to a boring lecture and reading a boring book.”

Rosen advises recasting teachers as facilitators who would throw out questions on the Bill of Rights that students would then look up on their smart phones or laptops. He suggests teachers could ask students to find the best resources, the greatest YouTube videos and the most helpful Web sites.

In what might be seen as heresy given the “no-cell phone” rules in schools, Rosen also recommends giving students a few minutes in class period to catch up on missed text messages, citing research that such interruptions don’t harm learning.

“From a purely behavioral point view, we are looking at a generation that can’t not text,” he says.

The latest data from the Pew Internet and American Life Project show that a third of teens text more than 100 times a day. On average, American teens — 75 percent of whom now own cell phones — exchange 1,500 text messages each month.

When teens are tapping on their phones and their laptops, education is still happening, Rosen says. He used to resent discovering students in his college classes texting until they were able to prove to him that they hadn’t missed a beat of his lecture and were aware of what was happening in class.

“The solution is for teachers to allow students to text in little bursts of time,” he says.

In an hour-long class, Rosen suggests teachers might permit students to engage in a lesson utilizing their smart phones and then give them a five-minute break to catch up on their texts. If students text outside the break zone, teachers should attach consequences, he says.

But what of the research that indicates texting hurts the quality of student writing?

While research shows that students who use more “textisms” — the shorthand lexicon that teens have adopted — do worse on formal writing, they do better on informal writing, says Rosen.

In fact, because of their daily investment in technology, “This generation reads and writes more than any other generation,” says Rosen.

They are not reading as many books, but they are reading Web sites. They are not writing long essays, but they are texting and posting on Facebook, Rosen says.

“What we have to do is channel that love of writing into the classroom,” he says.

Today’s students are immersed in technology every waking moment of their lives except school, says Rosen. And that has to change if schools hope to engage this new generation of wired-from-the-womb students.

132 comments Add your comment

catlady

May 15th, 2010
10:56 am

I teach with 2 young women who are constantly texting WHILE THEY ARE SUPPOSED TO BE TEACHING. I have a problem with that, wired generation or not. What many need to learn is correct ettiquete for using their technology.

Mr. Rosen needs to realize that the kind of texting that is going on is in no way comparable to academic writing, in focus, content, or any other way. He needs to also realize that a “five minute break to catch up” results in many times more of inattention. (not that there is a lot of attention now).

Perhaps allowing media minutes based on grades would be an incentive? For example, those with poor grades go to tutoring while the others get time to sit around and text or talk?

In my 70% free lunch ELEMENTARY school at least 5 cell phones a week are taken up! (Usually it only happens once, as parents don’t like to have to come to the school to retrieve.) I know some schools are backing away from taking them up. Well, if the child comes to school with it, it SURE MIGHT disappear. But let’s start taking out the SIM cards and let the kid keep the phone and the parent come get the card.

Actually, back to the original premise, I think our kids need some SANCTUARY from the wired world many of them live in.

ChristieS.

May 15th, 2010
10:57 am

Interesting. LOL, I would be interested to see the writing results if a teacher allowed the students to write an essay using “texting” but then had to also include a translation in plain, regular English.

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Raven

May 15th, 2010
11:48 am

NO. NO. NO.
These young people need to learn that they are not the center of the universe and that they can go 8 hours without checking their facebook, texts, whatever. Such self-importance leads to the arrogant behavior that includes texting while driving. YOU ARE NOT THAT IMPORTANT, TEENAGERS. NEITHER ARE YOUR NITWITTED PARENTS!!!

Max

May 15th, 2010
11:48 am

Im a sophomore in high school, i dont think this is necessary, yes i text in class but not all the time, the only students who text during the whole class are the ones who dont care about school and fail every class. I think it is just the workload amount that is given to us that makes us text in class, watch tv, listen to ipods, etc. As an IB student the work allows us to not sleep for days at time so we are pushed to do something that gets our mind interested

Sue

May 15th, 2010
11:50 am

I fervently hope that Larry Rosen is the patient or the passenger, say, when a brain surgeon or pilot just has to multitask during surgery or a flight.

Attentive Parent

May 15th, 2010
11:51 am

Interesting timing for this article and book as this is precisely the mindset espoused by America’s Choice and its current Common Core Standards that Sonny and Kathy Cox are committing Georgia students to as part of Race to the Top.

Both AC’s Sallie Hampton for the English standards and Phil Daro for the math have voiced similar thoughts recently and Atlanta Public Schools has agreed to pilot these standards on behalf of urban districts.

Since APS will not be exempt from Ga EOCTs and CRCTs that commitment now is quite interesting.

Teacher

May 15th, 2010
11:52 am

Catlady,

Giving someone sanctuary from the world in which we are preparing them to live makes no sense. If my students are going to go out and be successful in today’s world…which is wrought with technology, then they need to be exposed to it. Teaching from a book to a bored class is no longer going to work. That’s why kids rebel from it. We need to prepare them the way they need to be prepared. “That’s the way MY school was”…is no longer a valid excuse…. It’s blind, ignorant, and it pays no attention to what the kids want and/or need.

V for Vendetta

May 15th, 2010
11:55 am

As a teacher, I DO think we need to do a better job of integrating technology into the classroom; however, I think there are better ways to do it. A wired classroom is a lot different than a bunch of teens whipping out their phones every other minute. There is a difference between technology being used for educational purposes and technology for technology’s sake.

HS Teacher

May 15th, 2010
12:01 pm

I strive to utilize different teaching methods in class- whether it is technology, discussion, debates, seminars, etc as opposed to lecture. However, I find students texting in class annoying and extremely distracting. Despite my best efforts to “facilitate,” most students who text are cheating themselves of learning since they refuse to pay attention in class.

Our school policy is that phones must be shut off and put away from the time they enter the building to the end of the school day. If students want to call their parents (as most of them claim they are if they are caught), they can go to the attendance office.

I’m not that old- this is only my 5th year teaching. Whatever happened to the “good ole days” where a student could just could go to the office to call their parent? That’s what I did. Or, the parent could contact the school. There is absolutely no reason for students to have their phones turned on in school, period. 99% of the time the students caught texting in my classes are not contacting their parents– they are texting their friends. They need to (re?)learn how to pay attention in class.

Kelly

May 15th, 2010
12:01 pm

I actually let my students take lecture notes in their cell phones. At first, you may think they are not really paying attention…but a closer look (and improved test scores later) you see they are staying on task and engaged. Now, do they accept and respond to texts while they are doing this? Probably. But it doesn’t stop them from hearing what I’m saying or remaining engaged in the lesson. Teacher that ignore technological changes need to address the growing gap between themselves and their students or they will stop being effective in our changing world. These kids learn differently than we did and that is a fact you cannot ignore. Does anyone have any ideas they have tried in the classroom to implement the technology? If so, I would love to see a blog where we share that information. I, along with several of my colleagues, are actively searching for ways to use technology in ways that enhance the lesson. I am definitely guilty of “death by PowerPoint”…… :)

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Kelly

May 15th, 2010
12:05 pm

That should have said ” Teachers that ignore….”. My apologies! :)

Steve Hadaway

May 15th, 2010
12:07 pm

Notice that this idea is from a researcher, not an educator.

Bob

May 15th, 2010
12:10 pm

Teacher, “thats the way my school was” is referred to many times. My high school did not graduate kids that did not earn it but “thats the way my school was”. The reason we cannot refer to “thats the way my school was” is becasue back then, teachers taught, kids were forced to learn and not given passes for not learning, now it’s teachers coming up with lame ideas like Ebonics or letting kids text during class. I take the same stance on texting as school prayer, you do not time set aside for something that can be done on your own time, like lunch.

Attentive Parent

May 15th, 2010
12:11 pm

If there’s one thing that’s not a concern, it’s that the schools must make sure students are “exposed” to technology. The word “inundated” comes to mind.

There was a federal report in April 2008 led by Linda Darling-Hammond, the controversial and influential ed prof who is, according to EdWeek, in charge of developing the new national assessments for the Common Core Standards Initiative.

Dr Rosen’s statements reminded me greatly of statements in her report where she talks of getting rid of the “transmission curriculum” going forward in US education and moving to new standards of production and application that create the “abilities and dispositions that both democratic life and success in the new economy demand”.

This report

http://forumforeducation.org/files/u1/FED_ReportRevised415.pdf

defines these “higher order thinking skills” as:

1. the ability to apply knowledge to complex problems,

2. communicate and collaborate effectively, and

3. find and manage information.

These are the skills US public schools need to be cultivating in all children so they will have “productive citizenship in the 21st century”. Utilizing technology is the very heart of transmitting these new concepts for learning and teaching.

We are clearly changing the very concept of what education means in the US.

Questioner

May 15th, 2010
12:12 pm

If so many texts are being touted as cyber-bullying and if schools and teachers are going to be held accountable for any comments made to others verbally or texted, then I think that texting cannot being allowed during classtime if it can be at all prevented.

Questioner

May 15th, 2010
12:12 pm

Sorry, “be allowed”.

Maureen Downey

May 15th, 2010
12:15 pm

@Steve, Dr. Rosen teaches college.

Edgeucator

May 15th, 2010
12:19 pm

It’s all in the balance. The educational system must change and incorporate all aspects of technology. Allowing students five minutes of text time is similar to allowing students to write notes to one another or having wriggle time so that they can then refocus on their studies. How about teachers texting students key points or homework assignments? Sometimes technology gives voice to some students who previously would not have been heard.
I know for me I can tell my teenaged daughter many things until I’m blue in the face! Text her and I get a response at least 90% of the time.

Attentive Parent

May 15th, 2010
12:21 pm

The report belittles knowledge of “discrete facts”. “seat time”, and information in textbooks. It pushes a new participatory and egalitarian model of learning “acquired through engagement with people, problems, community resources, technology, and research materials” .

It appears that we are being bombarded these days with the same essential message from a myriad of directions and spokespeople. What are the chances it is coincidental?

Lisa

May 15th, 2010
12:24 pm

As a school teacher, I have mixed feelings about this article. On the one hand, I do agree that students are indeed BORED out of their minds with the current academic experience and we do need to find creative ways for this new generation to incorporate their form of technology into learning.

However, another major problem that I see is the lack of academic discipline and I’m not sure that texting-while-in-class is the answer either. Texting, “facebooking” etc…are more of a distraction because it is social in nature, and not academic, and that’s how students view these form of technology outlets. In one of my classes, their assignment was to create a blog based on a book they had read. Did this make them more apt to engage in the work? Were they interested? Not really because blogs, like texting, is a form of social outlet, and when it became academic, it was no longer “fun”. Yes kids are reading and writing more using their technology, however, the QUALITY of what they are reading and writing is the problem. As more social technology evolves, which DOES NOT require critical thinking skills, or writing in complete or “grammatically correct” sentences, the more difficult teaching kids will become. They need to be disciplined in the old way of learning first in order to at least get the basics of education, and once they master that, then the social technology can be introduced.

hallcountyparent

May 15th, 2010
12:28 pm

Hall County BOE gave the OK for one of their high schools to do a pilot program that allows students to text in lunch and in between classes. Also, they’re allowed to use phones and iPods in class at the teachers discretion.

Keep Me from Despair

May 15th, 2010
12:30 pm

Rosen admits that students who are hooked on technology do worse on formal writing and that they read websites instead of books. He is condemned out of his own mouth! Does he not realize that the future of most students, starting with admission into college and continuing into career advancement evaluation, is determined by their formal writing and their literacy in their own field?
I fear that the “success” of valedictorians who watch TV while they “study” speaks more to lowered standards than to the “advantages” of being wired.

jeffrey d

May 15th, 2010
12:32 pm

Of course he teaches college. Just about everything I learned in college did not prepare me for what I encountered while student teaching and teaching math full time. It’s too idealistic. How can I teach my sophomores the quadratic formula when 1) they can’t add integers, and 2) they’re too distracted by their cell phones to pay attention (they can’t live without it…they know the rules and I still have to take up at least one a day)?

Shark Punch!

May 15th, 2010
12:33 pm

The problem with technology in the classroom is that too many students lack the personal discipline to use it responsibly. A high school valedictorian who’s the daughter of a university professor can hardly be held up as a shining example of the glory of technology in the classroom–at least not with any shred of logical integrity. The vast majority of my (college) students who text during class are the same ones who can’t be bothered to do simple things like take an online practice exam. And most of them fail the course.

Butts Wagner

May 15th, 2010
12:45 pm

So this guy’s students could follow his lecture while not paying attention? Sounds like his course is a real doozy……. If I were paying good money to attend his class and it’s something I could learn just as easily on my own, I would feel extremely cheated because it would be a waste of money. People have not evolved in the last 50 years. Do you think kids in the 50s didn’t multitask? Maybe they didn’t have cell phones, but I bet they did things like write notes to each other or doodle or whatever else was available to them during class. Studies prove time and again that not focusing on a single task strongly inhibits the ability to do that single task well. Kids have been watching tv and doing hw at the same time for 55 yrs now; don’t think your daughter is so special. Smart kids and good students can get away with it because either they focus on the hw(precisely because they understand that you have to focus to do well) or the hw is not a challenge for them. I’m all for integrating technology into teaching and finding new ways to engage students, but the key word is engage. This guy is basically saying that we should give kids breaks during classes. Breaks should not be necessary in 50 minute long classes. If you can’t focus for an hour, how the hell should I expect to allow you to do things like drive a car which requires total attention and is dangerous? And why should companies want to hire you if you can’t focus on work for at least an hour at a time?

Wounded Warrior

May 15th, 2010
1:06 pm

very simple. can’t text if they don’t have a phone. I don’t have a cell phone, neither do my daughters.

I listened to my walkman while I did my homework in highschool, and we didn’t have to worry about calling our parents during the day. If coach changed practice, they had to let the parents know at least a day before, and arrange rides for those that didn’t have it.

Wounded Warrior

May 15th, 2010
1:08 pm

can’t text if the student doesn’t own a cell phone. I don’t own one, neither do my daughters.

FEAR

May 15th, 2010
1:19 pm

How about you just ban cell phones from classes? I didn’t have a damn cell phone when I was in school.

This, too, shall pass!

May 15th, 2010
1:19 pm

Okay. I am an old teacher. I remember when there was only one television on a rolling cart with a VCR. Having students watch scenes from Romeo or Juliet was a real treat and an excellent way of getting students’ attention. However, watching movies and plays soon became boring because every teacher regardless of subject matter showed television clips and movies. In fact, my students would much rather I tell a story or explain a story in an entertaining way than have them watch a video (we watch two videos a year now). Just as some have noted “death by PowerPoint,” soon there will be death by ipod, ipad, droid, etc. Schools are suppose to be part social (at least I am told that we are teach all kinds of social skills that enable students to work with others in the business world). In an earlier blog someone used the word “balance.” That is the key. Nothing wrong with any effective method of facilitating learning or dispensing information as long as the students buy into it (just as teachers should be balance dispensing information with facilitating learning). In education we too often are guilty of “all or none” thinking. I have been around long enough to see education trends come and go (remember the open classroom philosophy of the 70’s – if a student didn’t like what was going on in his classroom, he was free to get up and attend another class.) Yep, that dinosaur is extinct! A Nation at Risk said that we had to get back to the basics. However, can anyone define what the basics are now? We don’t need to teach students to use technology; we need to teach them how to use technology in a balanced way that enhances instruction. Again, the key word is balance.

Glenn R

May 15th, 2010
1:22 pm

So students need time during the day to check their messages and Facebook?

They already have it. It is the time between classes and during lunch. If checking messages is so important, they can cut the idle chatter and get busy during those breaks. I darn sure managed to do more than move from room to room during my 5 minute beaks 45 years ago and my high school was very spread out.

John

May 15th, 2010
1:22 pm

Put the phone away during class!!! Plain and simple. Most texts that kids and adults send and receive are not that important and can wait.

GTSteve

May 15th, 2010
1:24 pm

At least let them turn them on after school. My son’s school will not let them turn them on while they wait to be picked up. One day I was running late because of a death in the family, I sent him a text to let him know, he gets outside and doesn’t see me and hops in the car with someone else. Then once he gets of school grounds he turns it on and gets my text….a little late

Nona

May 15th, 2010
1:28 pm

Look, nobody’s suggesting that texting replace instruction. It makes sense, however, to integrate modern technology into the classroom. The whole point is to prepare students for the world THEY’LL live in, not the world WE were prepared to live in. If cell phones and texting can be integrated into instruction and make it more effective, engaging and applicable, then what’s the problem? It makes sense especially in this economy. I teach writing in a Cobb classroom that has zero computers and 1 dictionary for the entire class, which next year will most likely have 40 kids in it. Face it: teaching writing without a computer has no application in the real world: No kid is going to grow up and write a proposal or letter or business plan by hand, no matter how many essays, letters and reports *I* make them write by hand in my class — handwritten communication no longer has any application in the real world except perhaps as a grocery list. Kids need computers to learn to write because that is how they’ll write in the real world, which is what taxpayers are paying me to teach them to do — know how to write in the real world. And if, while handwriting their essay or report in my classroom due to the absence of computers, they want to look up a definition or spelling by accessing a dictionary on their cell phone instead using of the single 25-year-old dictionary in our classroom, then why on Earth is that a problem?

The truth is that Baby Boomers and GenXers aren’t digitally literate, so they see technology as gadgetry that serves as diversions and time-wasters. It CAN be those things. But, if appropriately integrated into instruction, it can help us deliver much more effective and practical education while at the same time engaging our students.

People also need to understand what cell phones are to students. It’s not just a phone: every phone number, picture, song, text, email address, IM, video, game and often their only internet access is on that phone. My students offer me their iPods, wallets, house keys, shoes, purses and backpacks and money in attempts to negotiate my confiscating their phones. It’s their lifeline to the world. You may not like it, you may not approve, you may not understand — but that’s the way it is. The toothpaste is out of the tube, and you can’t put it back in. These aren’t just phones to these kids, and they’re not just status symbols. They are integral parts of their lifestyle, like a car is to a baby boomer; it drives their lives. I probably confiscate 5-10 phones a day, despite the rules against students using them. That time would be better spent letting students use the phones to learn.

And finally, I’m no hip young teacher. I’m of the generation that uses my cell phone for a phone. I don’t use it for email or surfing, and half the time I forget it and don’t even know where it is. I’m just a teacher trying to teach with resources that are minimal, antiquated, broken or nonexistent. My vote: work it into instruction — it engages students to learn, keeps classroom management issues (mainly phone confiscation) to a minimum, and it costs the school system nothing.

Teacher

May 15th, 2010
1:28 pm

The reason why people yearn for the “Good Ol Days” when their school only graduated those who earned it and discipline reigned and everyone was so happy…is because the majority of people only choose to remember the things that coincide with their own specific viewpoint. No one remembers any of the bad stuff, or the fact that the most recent generation (HS kids in the 90’s) weren’t really prepared for the world b/c all we did was teach from books. Textbooks are TERRIBLE teachers. The best teachers use them as references and teach toward those things that kids KNOW…computers, ipods, cell phones, etc… I’m in my 5th year teaching and I did not grow up with technology as we know it. My 3 year old son already knows what a computer, cell phone, etc.. is and he will use it everyday of his life. That’s something we ‘old fogies’ need to come to grips with, or we will lose the current generation of students in our own dogmatic yearning for the ‘good ol days’ of teaching.

Of course I believe in rules and discipline and all that. It’s 100% neccesary to teaching (especially with class sizes going UP UP UP). However, I agree that having a cell phone in a school (with parameters) isn’t the biggest deal ever. We teach 90 minute classes a day…giving a kid 5 minutes to send a text isn’t the end of the world. It’s a give and take.

They actually listen to us when they know we’re on the level. It’s called street cred…..

Status quo

May 15th, 2010
1:28 pm

How many companies allow employees to text during meetings and client presentations? How many employers make sure their employees are entertained and engaged in order for them to be productive? And as far as increasing the use of technology, it will be interesting to see what happens with close to 40 students in a class. Boring lectures will make a comeback, and projects will be a thing of the past – No time to grade, not enough lap tops, or not enough room in the classroom to break into small groups.

FEAR

May 15th, 2010
1:31 pm

GTSteve – Why does he need a cell phone? What did parents do when they had an emergency 20 years ago and had to let the kid know?

so

May 15th, 2010
1:31 pm

spoiled spoiled self-entitled brats!!! I am getting a cell phone disruptor, a device that interferes with the cell signal. When will we stop being friends with our children and give them a supportive whack on the rear and tell them to get back to work!!

JacketFan

May 15th, 2010
1:34 pm

Ugh, stupid. So, when these kids get in the workplace, their bosses are going change SOP to incorporate texting and facebook into their work duties? Okay, I know smart phones and IMing are a part of he private sector, but so is professional writing and professional etiquette. I’m tired of educators being expected to “entertain” or encourage students to be engaged, especially in college. If preparing for one’s future through the privilege of higher education isn’t enough for a student then I don’t really see that revamping my teaching style is going to improve anything.

Mad Moderate

May 15th, 2010
1:37 pm

With education in the state that it is in Georgia, the last thing kids need is more free time. If Dr. Rosen is specifically referring to college kids that’s fine, middle and high school kids should not be texting or talking on phones during instructional time period. Learning can be interesting and fun without texting and other foolishness. This is one of the many things wrong with education. I will leave with a classic line I heard from a preacher ten years ago: the teacher answer to the principal, the principal answers to the superintendent, the superintendent answers to the Board of Education, the Board of Education answers to the parents, the parent answers to the student, and the student answers to NO one.

Courtney

May 15th, 2010
1:39 pm

@Muareen Downey – He is a Psychology professor. NOT qualified in this matter and #2 teaching classes full of idiots who will soon have a useless degree.

Old Physics Teacher

May 15th, 2010
1:45 pm

It’s just incredible. No matter how many times society tells teacher’s colleges and, by implication, teachers that today’s students are totally unprepared, these “Eye Dee ten Tee’s” still say, “Listen to me, I’m an expert!” One of these days we’ll actually figure out WHY End-Of-Course-Tests and the GHSGT are required… Lord, I hope so. As Pogo once said, “We have met the enemy, and it is us!”

It has been proven CONCLUSIVELY that the human brain is a linear computer. With what part of CONCLUSIVELY and linear are you having a problem? You cannot do two things at once and have both done accurately. Let’s take a simple dual task: walking and talking. A study was done showing even these two simple activities suffered a significant falloff in performance!

All the comments above prove is that the instructors have dumbed-down the course to so simple a task that quality students can spend half their time studying and half the time loafing and still score well — when curves are applied. Either that, or you’re teaching low-level skills to upper-level learners. Tighten up your curriculum, demand your students learn the subject matter, test the subject matter, and grade according to how much the student learns. You’ll see how quickly the iPods, TVs, and radios get turned off.

lando

May 15th, 2010
1:46 pm

I am not surprised at the backlash from teachers. Teachers, through the ages, have railed against the following:
Ink: said it was too expensive for people to use in the real world
Computers: again companies would never invest in a computer for everyone

It is usually a good indication on the future success of item if teachers are against it!!!

KJ

May 15th, 2010
1:47 pm

Wow, what a terrible article. What does texting “OMG JACOB IS SOOO CUTE LOLZ” have to do with learning the Bill of Rights? No more than passing notes/playing paper football did in my day. It’s one thing to integrate technology into teaching procedures; it’s another to allow students to employ new and advanced methods of goofing off.

It’s great that Rosen was allowed a forum to shamelessly brag about his Yale daughter, but I’m pretty sure students like her are outliers; most kids aren’t going to be able to be distracted by all that frivolous stuff and still excel in their schoolwork. I’m sure all of them will CLAIM to be able to do it, just like the adults that CLAIM to be able to drive attentively while yakking it up on the phone. I definitely don’t want another generation of THOSE people effing up my commute in the future.

Cell Phones scare me!!!!

May 15th, 2010
1:53 pm

@FEAR,

You people in the anti-cell phone crowd crack me up. What did they do 20 years ago? Hell, lets ask what would he have done 100 years ago, its just as irrelevant.

JacketFan

May 15th, 2010
1:56 pm

@lando – boy, you’re not very bright, are you? What teachers “rallied against ink?” And teachers were not the only opposition to computers. In fact, colleges and schools endorsed computers fairly quickly.

@Old Physics Teacher – I agree. I dolled out more failing grades that I ever have this past semester. At the beginning of the semester, I told my students “text if you want, come to class or don’t, but know this – if you don’t pay attention and put in the work, you WILL fail my class.” The students who took these words to heart did exceptionally well. Those who didn’t – the ones who missed class and took part in electronic masturbation during class time – earned no better than a D. I’m happy to say that my department head supported me in this. I wish more of my colleagues would take this route.

HS Admin

May 15th, 2010
1:57 pm

As I walk the halls during classes, virtually every student who exits a classroom to ‘go to the bathroom’ is staring at the palm of their hand, walking very slowly. It also cracks me up that a student headed to the bathroom spends more time trying to find the song he wants to listen to as he walks than the roundtrip to the bathroom would take. Some of our students are great about setting things aside and focusing on instruction, but the ones who struggle the most also lack self-discipline to ignore their electronics during class. Not every text has to be read immediately, not ever call has to be answered immediately. That is what our techno-society has become.
And, as far as Powerpoints and ‘boring lectures’ are concerned, not every learning opportunity can be ‘whiz-bang’ fun. Sure, you can introduce a variety of teaching strategies and methods, incorporate appropriate technology, and try to make it as fun and interesting as possible, but ultimately, learning requires thinking, practice, repetition, and application. Those things are never going to be as fun as video games, Facebook, and texting ‘lol’ back and forth to their friends. There is a time and place for everything. We’ve always called it having a balanced life…making sure you take time to spend with family and friends, relax…but life can’t all be about fun and play.

JacketFan

May 15th, 2010
1:57 pm

Maureen, I’m in the filter – probably for saying that lando wasn’t very bright.

Teacher Reader

May 15th, 2010
1:59 pm

I agree that technology along with a variety of teaching methods need to be used in the classroom. However, our students want surface learning and that is what many of the programs being used in the elementary, middle, and high school promote. Surface learning does not mean that you understand a topic with any sense of true understanding. We have too much surface learning and not enough deep understanding for my personal taste.

Our children and people in general need to learn manners when they use their cell phones and text. Texting has no place in schools, as this is how students cheat, which is one reason why Kelly’s students grades went up when she allowed them to text. Multitasking is not a good idea and has been shown to be harmful.

I disagree with Mr. Rosen’s of thinking. I believe that we need to teach our children to be happy and satisfied with life without technology, so that they develop a deeper understanding of who they really are, what they stand for, and understand what true happiness is. I also believe that our children need to deeply understand concepts and not rely on technology for everything. I have children who are still using their fingers to add and subtract in fourth grade and have no clear idea of place value, because we do not stay on a topic long enough. We don’t want our kids to be bored, so we teach like a video game and throw material at them, without giving them time to fully digest what they are learning.