Carrie Schmelkin : Gossip from the Hallways
Carrie Schmelkin
Web Editor, TMC

December 2011

You are browsing the archive for December 2011.

What Should be on a College Student's New Year's Resolutions List

December 29, 2011

It's that wonderful time of year – the time in which we are supposed to put away the Hershey’s chocolate (and that flask), forgive a friend who wronged us a few months ago and figure out a way to finally get out of debt. Ah, New Years. That time of year when we reflect on the changes we need to make and how we can better ourselves in the coming year.

In Honor of Tyler Clementi: How to Protect Our Loved Ones

December 27, 2011

For some, the holiday season can be a difficult time as the holidays bring about a flood of memories of loved ones that are no longer here – whether it’s of grandpa who used to always sit at the head of the table for Christmas brunch, or that loving uncle who always lit the Hanukah candles, or a parent who always used to lead the family in renditions of holiday song classics.

But for Jane and Joe Clementi, the parents of Tyler Clementi –  the college freshman who jumped to his death after being the victim of cyberbullying – perhaps their memories are a bit more harrowing. 

A few weeks ago, in honor of the fact that the holidays were Tyler’s favorite time of year, Joe and Jane spoke out for the first time about their son’s untimely death and their last moments with their son.

Is Tech Making it Easier for the Letorneau's and Sanduskys Out There?

December 20, 2011

More than 10 years ago, the world stood aghast to learn that then 35-year-old Mary Kay Letorneau, a school teacher, was having sex with her 13-year-old student, Vili Fualaau. How could a teacher have taken advantage of such a vulnerable child? How did no one detect it sooner? And how could Letorneau, who was imprisoned from 1997 to 2004 and went on to give birth to two of Fualaau’s children, and Fualaau claim it was true love when they later got married?

Facebook's Response to Cyberbullying: Is it Enough?

December 15, 2011

Facebook can be a lot of different things for different people – a platform to celebrate milestone achievements, a forum to help you keep in touch with long lost friends and, sadly, even a mechanism that facilitates cyberbullying.

The past few years have catalogued instances of cyberbullying, some of which have taken place on Facebook. Perhaps in an effort to rectify the problem it has unintentionally given legs to, the social networking site has announced its intentions to become a source to help prevent suicide.

Recently, Facebook announced that if you see one of your friends, or another user, post a suicidal comment or status update on his/her Facebook page, you can click a “report” button next to the posting and then answer a series of questions about whether the post was violent, harassing, hate speech or harmful behavior.

A Ways to Go...

December 13, 2011

Time is quickly running out for Connecticut schools to develop a safe school climate plan, something which Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy sanctioned this past summer.

According to the General Assembly of Connecticut, “An Act Concerning the Strengthening of School Bullying Laws,” was signed into law by Malloy on July 13. The act takes “comprehensive steps to prevent bullying and ensure every child the right to learn in public school without fear of teasing, humiliation or assault.”

Per the statute, each school must: adopt a clear policy against bullying behaviors; train all school staff who interact with students on how to prevent bullying; ensure that all school staff take immediate action whenever they observe bullying or receive a report; and gather data to access the extent of bullying in school.

A Cold Front is Coming for Google Apps

December 6, 2011

Is Google on Santa’s “Naughty” list this year?

It may appear so as the search engine King is not on the receiving end of holiday cheer lately.

Today, Consumer Watchdog – a nonprofit consumer advocate group – cautioned the third largest school district in the nation, Chicago Public Schools, against implementing an email system from Google as it searches for a new system. It’s chief rationale?

Consulting the Expert: A Teacher's Thoughts on Social Media in the Classroom

December 1, 2011

In today’s 21st Century teaching model, it’s certainly a race to the top for teachers to come up with the latest technological innovations that can bring learning to students in a whole different light. After all, everyone wants to be able to say that they were the first to discover that you can use Facebook to create a “Spanish Grade 11” group. Or that they were the teacher that introduced video conferencing to the classroom before everyone else in their school.

While exploring the tech space when it comes to schools these past few months, one question has come across loud and clear – how do you propel forward with technology innovation while still not blurring student/teacher lines?