I do not just toss out rants and not do anything about them. I am solutions oriented…well something like that. If you read Crotch Texting the First Amendment, you will remember I suggested putting crotch technology to work instead of just crotch texting. Today, I did that and NOT for me…well for me in a way, you will see.
Sitting on either side of me are two students. All three of us were supposed to discuss Tinker v. Des Moines Independent School District (read this, it is not as boring as you think and if you are a teacher, student, or parent of school age children this is good to know) as part of a class wide discussion on regulation and communication. I had “laryngitis.” In other words, I went in with a plan not to do the talking something that happens far to often. I wanted them to talk. And they did. First one and then the other. While they were talking and listening to other students, I pulled up material on my ipad (my phone is not a smart phone) and showed it to them. In particular this:
“I know a man who is firm – he’s firm in his pants, he’s firm in his shirt, his character is firm – but most of all, his belief in you the students of Bethel, is firm. Jeff Kuhlman is a man who takes his point and pounds it in. If necessary, he’ll take an issue and nail it to the wall. He doesn’t attack things in spurts – he drives hard, pushing and pushing until finally – he succeeds. Jeff is a man who will go to the very end – even the climax, for each and every one of you. So please vote for Jeff Kuhlman, as he’ll never come [pause] between us and the best our school can be. He is firm enough to give it everything.”
-from Bethel School District v Fraser (Wikipedia, see link below)
That is a speech that a high school student gave at an assembly and the reason behind Bethel School District v Fraser and a reason why there are laws on what students in school can and cannot say. That speech is hilarious and educational. I should not have to tell you why it is hilarious. It is educational, because if you hear, “Some high school kid said something, and it went to the Supreme Court,” you have zero idea why the Bethel v Fraser case is so important and interesting.
And that was the look on the students faces after the other student gave his summary, “Why is this important?” So, I showed them the speech and their faces lit up. And they nodded and smiled. AND then one of them used what he had just read to speak in class.
And THAT is what I am talking about. Get their heads out of their crotches and into the classroom. Did I keep them from crotch texting, no, but it happened a lot less. Will getting them to put technology to use happen easily, no. It will take some effort, but the first thing that needs to happen is getting the students to understand or see or experience that the crotch technology in their hands can do more, a lot more. AND some of what the crotch technology will show them is fun as well as educational.