Thursday, February 26, 2009

Trouble with cell phones

Here is my next invention proposal...

I want someone to invent a cell phone scrambling device I can use in my classroom where when I choose, I activate the device and every cell phone in the room becomes scrambled rendering it unusable. This would make my life much easier. I feel like I'm constantly policing teenage texters. I suppose I could be harsher on the kids, but then again they are just kids. Anyway, lets name the device cellscramble.

Of course, there would have to be a way to exclude my cell phone from this whole thing... I guess that would be the tricky part.

Make it happen people.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Obituary for the VCR

Hearing reports of the the death of the vcr is quite sad for me. I remember our first vcr that my family bought in the mid 80s. That thing was a beast. It must have weighed at least 50 pounds, but what a world it opened for me. The notion that one could tape a show now and then watch it later was absolutely mind blowing. So great. But now that times have moved forward and DVR and DVR have overtaken the video world, I find myself saddened. Don't get me wrong, the DVR has changed my life in so many ways (although that is depressing to admit)... and pretty much all for the better. I will miss the VCR, but not too much - with the exception of one reason.

Here is what I will miss about the vcr. I will miss the taping. What I mean is this. Television has a wealth of resources that could be valuable in the history classroom. Whereas in the past, I could pop in a tape, press record and 30 to 60 minutes later, I would have lesson plan gold. Now, I don't really have a way of transferring a documentary from home to school. It bugs me. How can I successfully move video from home to school?

Well, here is my solution...

My hope is that some day the following is a reality. With the impending merging of cable television and high speed internet. I would hope that someday I would be able to tape a show at my house on my home DVR and then be able to send that show to the DVR (or other machine) in my classroom. I guess it kinds of works like email. The main obstacle I see revolves around having machines have the same cable providers. Then I can have the current events and other documentaries at school for my students to enjoy.

Please someone, make this happen, but until it does, I will mourn and feel sad that the VCR is dead.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009


I am so stinking tired of all these different usernames and passwords to remember. It is absolutely ridiculus, I can't stand it!! From three different email accounts, to bank accounts, to credit cards, to other various bills, to every other site that requires a username/password, and to all these different school websites we've been using, it just gets to be too much. When does it end? I don't know that, but here is my proposal...

Someone needs to create a website that houses all passwords/usernames. Here is how I would set it up. This would take a bit of work on the user up front, but then life would be so much easier with so much less to remember. The page would allow users to register various website username and passwords. Once finished, that one page, we'll call it, the user can simply click on the page they want to go to and because the id/password is already saved on passworld, there is no hassle with signing in.

I suppose there is already many password managers out there, but since this one is an online format, it could prove to be much easier (and cheaper) than purchased software.

Just a dream.

Monday, February 23, 2009

First Entry

Well, I finally got around to starting this blog for class, and I must say, I am not too much of a fan of doing this. I have never been one to "journal", so it is hard for me to start either electronically or on paper. Speaking of journaling, does that even really exist anymore? Has myspace and facebook become the "journal" of the 21st century? Are there little brothers around the country trying to "steal" and "read" big sisters facebook or myspace? My guess is that they are not. Instead of privacy, it seems as though people would rather throw their thoughts out there for everyone to see. This slightly worries me as a high school teacher. I've heard of more and more colleges and employers checking "electronic diaries" before admitting or hiring candidates. I hope kids will be smart about what they post and keep their really dirty thoughts and actions stored away in a ratty old diary hidden under a mattress instead of posted on a url.