The Parent-Child Cell Phone Argument

We’ve all had it, right?

I love this parent-child moment from season 5/episode 6 (“Sleepover”) of Louie. It takes place right after Louie goes to see an intense, dramatic play on Broadway with his adolescent daughter, in which he observes her thumbing her phone during its climax. I just revel in the authenticity of the interaction. Here it is below:

Louie: You know what? Give me your phone.
Daughter: What?
Louie: Give me your phone. Let me have it.
Daughter: Why?
Louie: Because enough already.
Daughter: What are you talking about?
Louis: You know… you’re lucky to live in this city. You’re lucky to get to see stuff like that. You’re lucky to be alive at all.
Daughter: So?
Louie: Well, so, in the most devastating moment in the play, I look over and you’re texting with your friends. It’s gross.
Daughter: I wasn’t texting!
Louie: It’s gross. It’s really gross. I saw you! I saw you texting!
Daughter: No, you saw me reading about the play.
Louie: Wh… How do you appreciate a play and Google it at the same time? That’s no way to live a life. That’s an insult to the actors to do that.
Daughter: Because it was a great play and I wanted to know more about it while I was watching it. Do you even know anything about the play?
Louie: Ya… it’s…a 1960s thing with a…
Daughter: Did you know that this play was banned in Russia and in Israel? Did you know that, after he wrote it, Shelby thought about killing himself? Did you know that he rewrote the ending ’cause he was afraid that it would cause other depressed people to kill themselves? Don’t you wonder what that original ending was?
Louie: But you missed the one thing… when the kid said that thing, you missed it!
Daughter: No. I didn’t. He said, “I wish I were dead. That’s the truest thing I know.” It was really sad. And it was beautiful. I didn’t cry like you ‘cause I’m not a baby. But just because I can appreciate something on two levels doesn’t mean I don’t deserve to have my phone.
Daughter: Fine. Take it. I don’t care.
Louie: Keep it. Keep it.
Daughter: Thanks for bringing me. This was cool.

I’m wondering: Is there a divide between people that “can appreciate something on two levels” and those that cannot?

Louis, Season 5, Episode 6 ("The Sleepover")
Louis, Season 5, Episode 6 (“The Sleepover”)

How Evernote+Skitch+Mobile Device has replaced my Document Camera and IWB

Disclaimer: What I am about to describe can only really be done on a Mac right now because Skitch is currently unavailable for PC (this is apparently changing soon).

This is not an argument measuring the pedagogical value of Interactive White Boards, although it may invariably lead your mind down that road (if you’re interested in that discussion, I suggest you add your two cents to Pernille Ripp‘s great post questioning their merit). Rather, it is about two things few people can argue against:

  1. The ability to digitally scan documents on-demand in class, make it viewable in large form, then write, erase, highlight on said document is an incredibly valuable tool.
  2. Many classrooms are currently doing this using document cameras and IWBs.

Here’s the thing:

Average cost of document camera: $500US (give or take a hundred).

Average cost of IWB: At least a couple of grand.

Total cost: At least $2500US (not including laptop and projector)

I used to have both of these things in my class, but find I no longer need them because of three things:

  1. Evernote ($0 on PC/Mac/iOS/Android/Blackberry/PalmOS/Windows Mobile 7)
  2. Skitch ($0)
  3. My Smart Phone (I would have one regardless)

Total cost: $0 (not including laptop and projector)

Let me describe to you an example of how I used my $0 technology just the other day.

It was math class. I was leading the students through a standard 3 part problem solving lesson. While collaborating in pairs, students used paper to draw out their thinking and explanations justifying their solutions. In the third part of the lesson, I invited partnerships to share their results with the whole class. To aid in this process, we digitally enlarged their papers so we could draw and write on them.

This is how I used to do this:

  1. Scan paper under SMART document camera.
  2. Open in SMART Notebook.
  3. Draw on SMART Board.
This is how I did it the other day:
  1. Opened Evernote on my iPhone.
  2. Took a snapshot of papers.
  3. Opened Evernote and Skitch on my MacBook.
  4. Dragged synced photo from Evernote into Skitch.
  5. Presented, drew on photo in Skitch.
  6. Dragged photo from Skitch back to Evernote.
  7. Tagged photo with subject, student name(s), and observational assessment comments.
Maybe it’s just me, but I’m liking the new way better.

Class, turn on your cellphones: TVO Search Engine Podcast Interview with me

I’ve been interviewed by the awesome @jessebrown for TVO’s Search Engine podcast. Here’s the link: Class, turn on your cellphones!