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

March 2012

You are browsing the archive for March 2012.

A Short and Tweet Message Results in Student's Expulsion

March 29, 2012

The question “Is that a First Amendment violation?” is certainly reverberating in the industry as of late as word has spread that an Indiana high school administration expelled a high school senior for cursing over Twitter…  wait for it, wait for it… after school from his personal computer.

At first that statement might seem truly preposterous to you. After all, what jurisdiction does a school have to chastise a student for using poor language on a social media site when the student was doing so from the comfort of his/her own home and after school? And the answer should be clear – none.

SAT Cheating Scandal Paves Way for Stricter ID Process

March 27, 2012

The thought of a high school student forking over thousands of dollars to that analytical, lexicon toting student to take the SAT or ACT in his place may seem like a scene straight out of a Lifetime movie – one that ultimately ends with some sad music as the kids are chastised by their parents about right versus wrong. But, this situation was a cold reality last year on Long Island N.Y.

Last year, 20 students from Long Island were slapped with felony charges after accepting as much as $3,600 to take SAT and ACT tests, acts that quickly resulted in one of the most “conspicuous cheating scandals to date,” according to experts. The job was simple.

A Teacher's Aide to Catch a Cheater

March 22, 2012

Cheating in class just got a whole lot harder for students.

This week, in an attempt to make sure that students are really getting the most out of school – and not taking short cuts by cheating on tests to get As – security expert and Berkeley Varitronics Systems (BVS) CEO Scott Schober unveiled PocketHound, a hand-held device that is capable of detecting unauthorized cell phone use (like cheating) in class.

“Students are tempted during exam time to do a quick search on Google for the answer that slipped their mind,” Schober said in a recent statement. “There is also a temptation to text their buddy sitting across the room asking for some assistance.

The Ravi Uproar: We are Missing the Point

March 20, 2012

A few days after Dharun Ravi was handed a guilty verdict for reportedly using his webcam to spy on his gay roommate Tyler Clementi, the world is definitely talking… a lot. Naturally, there are those that decry the verdict, arguing that Ravi came into the trial already “prejudged and declared guilty” as the media for the past year and half has been relentless in trying to figure out how much Ravi’s webcast played in Tyler’s decision to commit suicide. Then, there are the “burn him at the stake people,” those that feel justice really won’t be served unless Ravi faces some jail time or possible deportation.

But here’s what we do know.

Hey Teachers - Good Luck Trying to Compete with March Madness

March 15, 2012

As we speak right now, my Syracuse Orangemen are kicking off their NCAA tournament against 16th-seeded UNC Asheville in Pittsburgh, albeit without our star center Fab Melo (But enough of my rant about losing Melo for the tourney… I got my frustrations out (largely) Tuesday when word spread like wildfire and people frantically started adjusting their brackets).

Ah, March Madness. A month chock full of brackets, bets, booze and bumming (if your alma matter gets out early). It’s also a month characterized by heightened employee distraction and college students mentally checking out of class.

Twitter in the Classroom Improving Students' GPAs?

March 13, 2012

Here’s something for all you Twitter fanatics out there looking for the coolest new fact to tweet: Proper Twitter use in the classroom can actually bolster a student’s GPA and classroom engagement, when done correctly (140 characters exactly -- boy, have I become good with Twitter!).

While this fact might seem farfetched – especially as tweets about #Top10FavouriteOasisSongs, Kim Kardashian, and the fact that Bachelor Ben choose America’s most hated woman Courtney as his wife last night abound Twitter cyberspace – it has merit as studies indicate that when used correctly, Twitter can boost student grades and inspire those who are typically less engaged to communicate with their teachers.

The study found that while social media in the classroom vastly hurts the learning environment and students’ performance, it can help “in big ways” when done correctly.

Is Anything Sacred on Social Networking Sites?

March 9, 2012

We all might think to ourselves “Boy I hope my dream school is not checking my Facebook page” during my application process or “I wonder if the company that I am interviewing with will overlook the pictures on Facebook of me doing a keg stand and still hire me?” But just how valid are our concerns? How likely are colleges and future employers to use our social networking profiles as reasons not to hire us?

Likely, according to recent reports.

In fact, according to a CNBC report, you better take a few seconds (or hours at this point, thanks to Facebook’s new timeline) to go through past pictures, posts, and likes to make sure you have rescinded your “liking” of  “Binge Drinking, I'll drink to that!” and deleted pictures from spring break senior year of college.

The Dangers of the Twitter, Facebook Streams

March 6, 2012

Perhaps one of the most frightening things about social media is how it so easily permits people to say terrible things about each other with the click of a button. From knocking someone’s outfit to debasing someone’s intellect to spreading rumors about provocative behavior, social media has become a bully’s best friend – allowing that individual to tarnish reputations and write in permanent marker on the cyberspace walls.

When I was in middle school and high school, things such as Twitter, Facebook and Myspace did not exist. Accordingly, bullying was more of a face-to-face problem and you often knew if someone was targeting you.