Leveraging Smartphones in the Classroom

For teachers in low-income schools, incorporating technology — and computer use especially — is a matter of social justice. Technological literacy is, in a sense, its own learning target.

Alex Madison writes Five Cheap Ways Tech is Transforming Classrooms.

Smartphones in the classroom are an interesting idea. They have the potential to be powerful tools to support learning, and extend learning beyond the classroom by teaching students tech literacy with their own device.

Pitfalls exist: they open the door for all sorts of mischief. What happens if a phone is damaged by another student? What happens if students are using smartphones inappropriately in school?

This can be addressed by teaching integrity. A pencil and paper can be mis-used and abused. And if they are, the problem is addressed.

I see this being useful much more in high school than in elementary. But who knows if smart phones will continue to trickle down, and become a normal accessory of elementary students.

I like the idea of the QR survey using Plickers. It takes the low tech thumbs up/down survey to a new level of specificity.

I Wanna Get Better – Bleachers & PS22 Chorus

New York Children’s Choir, PS22 Chorus sing with Bleachers.

I really enjoy the original version of this song. It really satisfies my taste for pop melodies and glitchy production techniques.

I remember seeing videos by PS22 Chorus a few years ago. I’ve been working with elementary choirs lately, and so I can appreciate how much work goes into organizing a youth choir. I am so glad I found this collaboration.



Go Without

I encountered an interesting statistic today with regards to the consumption of the average Canadian, compared to a person from a developing country.

According to Peter Menzel’s Hungry Planet, from birth to 6 months a Canadian baby will use the equivalent amount of resources as a citizen of a developing nation would use in her entire lifetime.

If that is the case, then there are many, MANY people in the world who are living their lives with a whole lot less stuff than me. I wonder if they are living with a whole lot less stress.

I wonder.

What is the minimum I need to live a fulfilling life? What can I do without? What can I stop buying? Stop buying into? What activities, expenses, ideas am I deluded into thinking are essential to my happiness? When really, they are clogging my attention from the truly important things.

This deserves additional thought.

Coconuts Don’t Fall Far From the Tree

I made an album with my friends Nick and Taes! (Splash’N Boots)

We rented a ton of gear for a month, set it all up in their house. I put microphones in front of them. We had many friends come visit and play. A lot of laughter, “a few hours” polishing, and here is the result. This is my first time working as producer of an album, and I’m pleased with what we made. Have a listen.


I recognize that I have yet to comment here about the most massive change in my life in 2012. We had a little girl. That was way back in March, which makes her 7 and a fraction months old now. I was testing out a Flip video camera that I borrowed, and I made this little video.

She’s growing up: washing her own tongue now.

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