1 in 2 Americans Will Own a Smartphone by Christmas 2011. In Other News, Schools Wonder “What’s a Smartphone?”.

From Nielsen.com:It's a Graph.

“The iPhone, Blackberry, Droid and smartphones in general dominate the buzz in the mobile market, but only 21% of American wireless subscribers are using a smartphone as of the fourth quarter 2009 compared to 19% in Q3 2009 and 14% at the end of 2008.

We are just at the beginning of a new wireless era where smartphones will become the standard device consumers will use to connect to friends, the internet and the world at large.

The share of smartphones as a proportion of overall device sales has increased to 29% for phone purchasers in the last six months and 45% of respondents to a Nielsen survey indicated that their device will be a smartphone.

If we combine these intentional data points with falling prices and increasing capabilities of these devices along with an explosion of applications for devices, we are seeing the beginning of a groundswell.

This increase will be so rapid, that by the end of 2011, Nielsen expects more smartphones in the U.S. market than feature phones.”


Meanwhile, schools continued to be confused by this whole “smartphone” thing.

If you ask me, it’s just a fad.

Like email.

And the whole internet thingy.

As educators, we know smartphones are just another way for students to cheat.

All that information at their disposal.

It’s not right.

Why should we allow kids to bring their own “computer” to school, when it’s easier for us to pay thousands of dollars for desktops that will be obsolete in a couple of years?

If we rollover and allow students to use this type of advanced technology, what’s next?


We are going down a slippery slope when kids are allowed to know more than teachers.

They need to understand that we were taught a certain way 30 years ago and that should be good enough for them.

Worksheets never break down.  That’s all I’m saying.

We have to nip this in the bud (oh how I love Deputy Barney Fife).

Before you know it they will expect us to unblock YouTube and Twitter.

I don’t think so.   There’s no way young people should be on websites that frighten and confuse old people.

I say we put a stop to this now.

I say we get rid of the email machines and go back to paper memos.

As educators our battle cry should be “Bring Back the Typewriters and the Rotary Phones!”

And I mean manual typewriters, not those fancy electric ones.

Comments: 13
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Schools Can’t Change.

Change is hard.

That’s why I’m not interested.

When you work in a school there is always a lot of talk about changing things (by talk, I mean it rhymes with witching).  As educators we are faced with the choice of jumping on board with the latest fad or sticking with the tried and true method that we’ve used for the last 20 years.

For me it’s a no brainer.

If it was good enough when I was in school, it’s good enough for the students in 2009.What I Would Look Like If I Taught in the 1950's.

When the word change is even casually mentioned, it can provoke a strong reaction.

In some cases anger.

Luckily, the bad feelings are never directed towards administrators (for the last time… sarcasm is the lifeblood of this blog).

After much thought, I have chosen my final answer on change (I do love Regis Philbin but rest assured not in the same way I love Kelly…actually in the EXACT same way I love Kelly). 

I’m against it.

Don’t even think about trying to talk me out of it.

I don’t like change.


Because I don’t like it.

You need a reason?  I gave you one.  I don’t like it.

In my estimation, progress is way overrated.

Schools were good enough for my grandparents (if they attended… and some did… at least until the 6th grade), so they should be good enough for today’s students.

Progress is for the next generation.  It’s for the person who takes my job (I know you’re out there…).

As for me, I’m going to stick with what works.

I’m way too busy to worry about the latest fads.  My career is on borrowed time.  I just don’t see the point in making a lot of unnecessary changes because I’ve only got 20 years left until retirement (like I’m going to make it…).

I’m going to focus on the present.

In the next week or so I need to do the following:

Run off copies on the ditto machine.

Take a quick smoke break in the Teacher’s Lounge.

Use some corporal punishment on a student in the hallway because he was talking in study hall.

Finish a report on a typewriter (I hope I don’t make a mistake; I am all out of correction tape).

Hand write some memos.

Use the phone tree to contact teachers.

Drive students in my car without seatbelts.

Take some pictures for the yearbook and send the film off to be developed (I should be getting them back in a couple of weeks).

Write grades in my red spiral grade book.

Show a movie on the 16mm projector.

Or possibly a slide show (don’t forget to turn to the next slide when it beeps).

Finally, I need to not exercise (all the studies say it’s bad for you).

I think I’ve made my point.

Schools don’t need to change.  Things are just fine the way they are.

Comments: 29
Tags: , , , , ,

I Could Have Been a Typewriter Repairman.

Technology is changing fast. I often wonder how schools and teachers are going to keep up not only with the technology changes, but the students who seem to know more and more about computers at a much younger age.

When I graduated from high school, there was exactly one computer in the entire school district. A Commodore 128 if I remember correctly. I do recall that it was roughly the same size as my first car. But even though my friends and I weren’t sure what a computer could do for us, we knew it was cool.

It was located in the business classroom, right next to the typing room where I spent a semester learning to type on electric typewriters (half the time- the other half you spent on a manual typewriter which required the upper body strength of an Olympic weightlifter to return the carriage). Learning to Type on These, Wasn’t Easy.

I hope carriage is the proper term, our teacher made us memorize all of the parts of a typewriter. I wondered at the time if she assumed all 20 of us were going into the very high demand field of typewriter repair? I think I may have missed my career calling by about 40 years.

Back then (like the mid 80’s were the 12th century) technology consisted of a film projector and some sort of copying machine thing in the lounge that would make your hands blue from the ink (that is if you could stay in the lounge long enough that the cigarette smoke didn’t make you pass out). But I digress.

Technology continues to advance at an unbelievable rate and we as individuals and schools do our best to keep up. I am an example of this. I have made it all the way from staring at a Commodore computer in 1985 to writing a blog that is read by at least 2 people (at least 1 of which I am not related to).

Schools face the challenge of not only purchasing and replacing technology on a yearly basis, but training staff to use it, and educating teachers to teach it.

At what point will we, as educators, not be able to keep up? When will the time come that students arrive for their kindergarten year and they already know more about computers and technology than we can teach them when they get to high school.

The average 5 year old today has a computer, IPOD, video games, big screen TV, high speed internet, a DVD player in the mini-van, and will have a cell phone before they are 10 (with ring tones, a camera, text-messaging, and the ability to download TV shows and movies- and all of these things confuse and frighten a large majority of adults over the age of 55). And on top of that in a few years all of these devices may be combined into one personal media/phone/GPS/planner/camera/screwdriver.

Can schools and teachers advance as fast as the students who attend them? I think I will go fire up the ATARI and get a game of PONG in before bed.

Comments: 9
Tags: , , ,


While this site operates with the knowledge and awareness of the Tuscola CUSD #301 School Board, Tuscola, Illinois, the content and opinions posted here may or may not represent their views personally or collectively, nor does it attempt to represent the official viewpoint of Tuscola CUSD #301 administrators or employees.