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

In the classroom

Is Spell Check Making us Less Intelligent?

July 7, 2011

An interesting question was raised by one of my classmates when we were juniors in high school about to take the AP English exam (and no it was not “Does anyone have a pencil?” or “What test is this again?”) Instead it was, “Can we use dictionaries?”

While my peers initially laughed at our classmate, chuckles were soon replaced by nervous giggles as the fear set in that we would actually have to write our essays without (GASP!) the use of Microsoft Word which so kindly “reds” words that are misspelled. Or, better yet, autocorrects.

I am going to venture a guess that this type of panic spanned more than just Westchester County as computer dependent kids nowadays don’t know what to do when they are forced to put the good ole’ pen to paper and try to spell words without their trusty computer companion. 

The Not-So Ugly Side of Facebook

June 30, 2011

So I spent some time in my previous blog posts bringing up the less than glamorous side of Facebook, but for this entry, I have decided to change my tune (and attempt to fit in with my Facebook aficionado generation).

Facebook is perhaps one of the biggest education technology tools in the classroom today and the social networking site continues to grow in popularity.  Despite some of the more troubling actions that Facebook enables such as cyber bullying, procrastination and cheating in schools, Facebook is also one of the best ways to link teachers to their students academically. 

The New Kid on Campus

June 28, 2011

When I was a newspaper reporter covering education, among other beats, in Connecticut, one thing was overtly clear to me as I strolled down the hallways, reported on school assemblies and sat in on class presentations: smartphones and iPods have quickly become the most popular kids on campus.

Almost 10 years ago, when I first started high school, cell phones were the biggest thing to hit school (after Pogs and Tamagotchis). Verizon had just introduced the concept of a family share plan, and kids couldn’t wait to start whipping out their Nokia cell phones.

Once kids were lucky enough to receive a Nokia phone (and even luckier once they received rhinestone phone covers) they would use the phones sparingly in school, predominately to play the riveting game called “Snake.”