Archives for February 2009

Using Cell Phones as Teaching Aids

Some time ago there was a huge scandal where some students used cell phones to record videos of themselves engaging in sexual activity. This blew up into a storm of fury and calls of banning cell phones, that way the students can have sex and we won’t know. Well the Ministry of Education did not heed that call and thankfully so – the cell phones did not make the students sexually active.

I know the Ministry does have somewhere in the back of their minds that the mobile phone will someday play a part in education; there were some requirements for projects that I came across that stated that the solution should allow connectivity or have the capability to allow connectivity of mobile devices. Well there is one school district that has moved way further in making that happen.

The Keller Indepedent School District (ISD) has started a pilot project that uses smart phones for a 5th Grade class at Trinity Meadows Intermediate School. The phones can’t be used to make calls or send text messages, but otherwise all the functionality is there including MP3 player and camera. The educational applications built-in are tailored for the lessons being taught.

The idea behind the whole thing as I see it, is that the smart phone is a tool that students can have access to at all times and allows different methods and mechanisms for teaching concepts at a practical level.

The idea is not a novel one, as I know that Japan has been using the concepts for a long time and has so far gone to use the Nintendo DS in the classroom, but it does mean that the idea is catching on.

I strongly believe in education and anything that improves the chances of having better educated children and a society as a whole I am certainly for. Maybe, our Ministry should also look at this; with the amount of money that they are wildly spending they should at least put some to good use.

Recession on hold until after carnival

The Central Bank governor is saying that Clico is in a far bigger mess than what they thought, which has led to CL Financial sources saying that the CBTT is being harsh to them. I say that CL Financial got themselves into this mess and not the governor.

What is surprising to me is the lack of real concern by the masses of the turn of events. There was much brouhaha after the press conference announcing the buyout conditions for CL Financial by the Government of Trinidad and Tobago (GoRTT), but that has died down tremendously. I think that people only have Carnival in their heads and not taking on the goings on with CL Financial, but wait till Carnival finish and they have no money to buy everything that they are accustomed to.