How Technology Creeps into Everyday Existence to Become Ubiquitous

Let’s roll back our minds a decade to a time when people were not constantly on their smartphones.  Facebook isn’t in our everyday lives for another two years and Twitter will hatch a year after that in 2006.

Smartphones aren’t even called smartphones — they’re just dumb “cellular phones” that do rudimentary text messages without multimedia attachments like images and video.

That barren time in technology was still a difficult one of wide, generational, gaps when it came to the rapid, everyday, adoption of technology.

Those of us who grew up on payphones and single-line telephones in the home, were often put off, and perhaps, even offended by the younger among us who insisted that their cellphones were not just extensions of communication, but a very connectoid of being human.

When I was teaching at a major technical university on the East Coast way back when, I implored my students to not just put their phones on vibrate — at that time in the technological evolution, the vibration of the mechanism in the phone was just as loud as a ringtone — but to actually turn off their phones during the few times other students were giving a formal, graded, presentation in class.

Continue reading → How Technology Creeps into Everyday Existence to Become Ubiquitous

Destroying the Sacred Dyad: Cameras in the Classroom as Shadows on the Cave Wall

I currently teach in an old Midtown building in the center of New York City that used to house a secretarial typing school.  Legend has it that because there were lots of nefarious “students” in and around the “school” in the past, video cameras were placed in every corridor and cranny to record any crimes for the police that might take place.

Continue reading → Destroying the Sacred Dyad: Cameras in the Classroom as Shadows on the Cave Wall

Ear Pulling and Corporal Punishment in the Classroom

How far to we want to push punishment in the classroom?  With the sad lack of parental discipline today, the construction of the child is left in the hands of schoolteachers.  Do we want to discipline children with only the mind?  Or do we also want a return to the switch?

Continue reading → Ear Pulling and Corporal Punishment in the Classroom

The New Speak & Spell Robot Feels Your Pain

When I was but a wee younglin’ — the most robotic thing we had to “teach” us was the handheld “Speak & Spell” from Texas Instruments — which was merely a more glorified version of the “See N Say.”

Continue reading → The New Speak & Spell Robot Feels Your Pain