Thursday, August 19, 2004

The New York Times > Technology > Circuits > Back-to-School Issue: When Gadgets Get in the Way

The New York Times > Technology > Circuits > Back-to-School Issue: When Gadgets Get in the Way "Even in rooms without computers or Internet access, students have other devices to draw their attention away from academics. Cellphones may be prohibited at many schools, but that doesn't stop students from putting them on vibrate and trading text messages under their desks. That is, when they aren't fiddling with their organizers or music players.
Teachers have started to fight back. All agree that the best weapon against attention deficit is the same one that worked before the dawn of computers: strong teaching. But new strategies don't hurt, either. Some teachers have found, in fact, that the best defense against the distractions of technology is other technology. Here are five examples of teachers who are fighting fire with fire."
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One of the five:

"It doesn't take long for the students in Donna Lee's class at the North Gulfport Seventh and Eighth Grade School in Gulfport, Miss., to realize that the computers at their desks are not under their control.
Ms. Lee, who teaches keyboarding and Microsoft Office skills, uses networked software called NetOp to take over a student's computer screen whenever she sees fit. Her desktop computer has a master control panel that enables her to see thumbnail images of every screen in her lab. If she spots an unauthorized Web site, she clicks a button to freeze the student's screen. Using her mouse like a red pen, she writes "No No" across the screen. The scolding suddenly appears on the student's screen too."
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