Monday, September 13, 2010

This class clicks along

September used to mean new pencils, rulers, and notebooks. Guess I'm just showing my age. The new thing these days is a clicker -- and it almost makes me wish I were back in the classroom.

From today's Philadelphia Inquirer comes the tale of technology in teaching, with Trish Wilson's piece, "High-tech gadget transforming college teaching - and learning."

A few excerpts to whet your appetite:
  • "I think they are the greatest educational innovation since chalk," said Neil Sheflin, an associate professor of economics at Rutgers University.

  • "If I ask a question, and half the class gets it wrong, I can work on that right away, instead of waiting for a test," said Felicia Corsaro-Barbieri, a chemistry professor at Gwynedd-Mercy College. "The misconceptions are being cleared up immediately rather than later."
  • "There is a big cadre of students who say, 'Do I like them? No, but I know they're good for me.' Sort of like broccoli," Duncan said.
The days of sleeping through class are over. And it's a good thing, too.

Click on, future of America.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

And this would be...what?

One activity I'm getting much too much practice at is going through a loved one's accumulated treasures after a major life event and deciding where things should go. Sometimes, I even have to decide just what certain things are.

Here are two examples:
This was made by the Fuller Brush Company. It's only 4-1/2 inches long, with a wooden handle and a metal brush. What in the world could it have been used for? I'm clueless, so if you have any ideas, please let me know.

Likewise, the 5-inch device on the right has me scratching my head. It says "Perma-Curler" on the metal shaft -- at least that's what I think it says. It's kind of hard to tell. At one point, there was a debate among relatives whether this was a compass or a curling iron. I'm leaning toward the hair-styling tool myself, but there must be some parts missing -- like a power plug.

Want to join the fun? Post your thoughts...and what you think I should do with these things now. (No, I won't make millions on eBay.)

And one final word to the wise: go home and clean out a closet or two. Just think of all the stuff you really don't want someone else going through when you can no longer do for yourself.