Day 6: No news is good news

4 09 2009

iPhoneWaterDay 6 was almost a day with no connected learning tools at all. Fridays tend to be like that, since project teams meet on Fridays and I am basically just there to offer advice and interact informally with the students. We launched  class with the students emailing in their attendance (and 5 or 6 signing in manually due to various iPhone afflictions) and we moved along.

I am becoming concerned that after two weeks we are still having close to 10% fail rates on electronic roll checking. Sending an email should be a very simple activity, but we regularly have students who can’t manage to get that done; in addition, even the data we wind up with seems to be buggy, as I am getting almost daily requests for changes or adjustments to the attendance data. We’ve also had our first two students whose phones have been severely damaged or destroyed, and in these cases I feel sick for them, as I would be absolutely ill if this had happened to me.

Ironically, on the evening of the sixth day we were staying in a hotel when I almost zeroed my own phone. All I will say is that if you use that nice bright screen as a flashlight during the night, you would be better off to set the phone firmly down on the counter before you get too close to the toilet. Visualize yourself half-asleep, juggling your phone in the air over the porcelain fountain in the darkness before finally, mercifully, regaining a solid hold on it. This was a good reminder to me to show compassion to those poor souls who try something similar but don’t juggle as successfully as I did.

And I’m still pondering that whole attendance checking thing.

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