Wednesday, March 1, 2017
A Dictionary App
It was the third time in two weeks that I'd covered the 11th grade English class at the continuation high school. This day, they were doing a first read of excerpts from "Song of Myself" by Walt Whitman.
First up, I asked the class to define ten vocabulary words their teacher had left for them. They were allowed to use their phones to find the definitions.
(Having students look up definitions on their phones has become common practice in the last couple years. Before anyone gets "these kids today" about this, just think about how you'd rather find a definition or check spelling on a word. You're going to use your phone or a computer, right?)
The continuation high school has many students who have tuned out. They may attend class (although many rack up the absences), but they're there under protest, and they refuse to do anything. But nowadays, rather than spend a period antagonizing me, they spend the period glued to their phones--texting, Snapchatting, Instagramming, and watching videos.
(Depending on various factors, I may or may not choose to do battle over the phones.)
Jake is one of those. I think he has a phone addiction as much as that device is glued to his hand. So, I thought looking up words on it would be right up his alley...
"I don't want to go on Safari..." he whined.
He's glued to his phone, and he doesn't want to use his phone...? OMFG!
But, I had a solution. "You know, there are dictionary apps..."
A few minutes later, I noticed him texting. He explained he was waiting while the dictionary app downloaded. Sure enough, there was now a dictionary app on his phone. Hooray?
He even defined a couple of the words. (Although, not all ten...) Until he got bored of the whole endeavor and put his head down on his desk. Deep sigh.