Parent Teacher Conference

Cross posted here: Parent Teacher Conference

Mrs. Johnson, thank you for meeting with me today. As you know, I have some concerns about your little Johnny. Yesterday, whilst we were visiting the Old School. It’s a module in our history of the 21st century. You wouldn’t believe some of the things they did back then. All the children in a room together, all those germs and infections. It’s a wonder any of them survived it, frankly. Anyway, we entered the computer lab. Remember those from the history vids? Desks again, and each one had a box, a computer, and on the box was a monitor, an actual physical display. Get this, they each had a physical keyboard. Qwerty, if you can believe it. Just imagine. So to get to the point, Johnny reaches out and picks up a mouse, one of those input devices? I didn’t even know the sim allowed for that kind of interaction. So Johnny picks up the mouse, and all of a sudden he starts looking pale, and his avatar wobbles a bit, and then he flips off his vid feed. Poor dear starts retching. I can hear it. The whole class can hear it. He forgot to mute his audio. This type of  physical reaction is rare, but it might indicate an underlying allergic condition to digital environments. We’re all very concerned about Johnny and think you should send him to a specialist for an evaluation. I know it’s a bit of a shock; please don’t cry. I’m sure he’ll be alright.

E-Books Win

Amazon passed a milestone this week. More e-books (specifically Kindle editions) are sold than hardback and paperback books combined. Trees everywhere were heard to sigh in relief. In the near future, you’ll be able to hold up a book and proudly proclaim that you participated in the tree genocide. People younger than you will stare and wonder what you were thinking.

BBC News – Amazon selling more Kindle ebooks than print books

Dead-tree format’s demise is slow, steady | Business Tech – CNET News


This year, I’m working diligently to reduce the amount of email I receive. I’m unsubscribing from most email lists. This has helped, but I have a long way to go to manage my inbox. My second strategy is to stop using email like it was another service. For example, email does not work well for instant messaging. It generates far too many messages in a thread. Another way to cut down on the number of items in my inbox is to reduce the number of emails I send out. This should reduce the number of replies at least. So I ask you to take a pledge to reduce the influx of emails, at least for my inbox!

Call Me

Okay, I like statistics. Numbers are a reflection of the world around us. Even though I’m often critical of the way data is used in education these days (read this post from Will Richardson to see one reason I disagree with data-driven instruction, articulated much better than I can), numbers still say something about us. I subscribe to the Pew Research Daily Number for that reason. In a recent post, the Daily Number looked into cell phone behavior. One item stood out for me, quoted below. I am convinced this is evidence that our technology adoption is changing us in ways we can’t anticipate, leading us to a future we can’t know until we get there, look around, and say, “wait, I’m on a call.”

Owners also used cell phones to stave off personal contact with others — 13% of cell owners pretended to be using their phone in order to avoid interacting with the people around them.

smartphone users vs. other cell owners

Hey, Where’d the Internet Go?

I know Firefox has some great additions, but sometimes things can get out of hand. Just for grins I turned on many of the plugins and extensions I have in Firefox just to see the actual browsing experience. While I might use some of these tools some of the time, I certainly wouldn’t expect the average user to ever do this. Can you image the support calls? Hey, where’d the Internet go?

firefoxedJust wondering, what Firefox extensions do you use on a regular basis?