Thursday, February 18, 2010

Angels in our midst...

Wow. I love being surprised.
Today, a well-known teacher, (who shall not be named) surprised me. He maintains the image of The Grouch, which he carefully cultivates and guards like a well-earned prize. Today we talked about Africa, sparked by a fundraising poster outside my office. (One of my students, Steph, is organizing a fundraiser for Kenya at the restaurant where she works.)

Anyhoo....this grumpy gus proceeded to tell me about the charity he is involved with ( ) - not just peripherally, mind you, he is the president - and the medical services this charity provides to disabled children in Kenya. He travels there, handles media, liaises with physicians, and has mentored a young man there who is now an "on the ground" spokesperson ('mentored' is also putting it lightly). You should have seen his face change as he talked about his adventures in Kenya.

Go to YouTube, search Bethanykids, look for Daisy's story and share it with your kids.

Funny how quickly you can see someone in a completely new light.

p.s. While you're at it, donate a few bucks to the website. We all have more money than we need. Really.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Texting as the new Elvis...

One of my dearest friends sent me an email today titled, "Check this out - proof at last of the evils of social media!" and the "proof" was a link to an article released by Canadian Press with the headline, "Students failing because of Twitter, texting and no grammar teaching".

Ahhhh!...this is one of my peeves. Great example of poor journalism. Reporting on a study in which students fail a written test, and then making a direct (faulty) causation to texting in the headline. This is why people distrust the media. It's lazy thinking to assume texting causes this, when students are writing more now than we ever did as teens (we were on the phone for hours!). Texting is a construct, a new language.

Check this out:

And closer to home:

One of the most oft-quoted studies is out of the UK and claims:
"A 2006 study by two professors at Coventry University in Britain found that 11-year-olds who used the most textisms were actually better at spelling and writing. A command of texting seems to indicate a broader facility for language. And these students seem to switch easily between text messaging and standard English."

Another interesting study:

Sorry for the rant...but texting is such an easy (lazy) scapegoat for adults who maybe should be more concerned about students not reading and all the other things they are NOT doing while viewing screens. Ahhhh!

Ttyl, (LOL)