Last week I mentioned about me being up on stage speaking to a large group of big kahunas from all over the state. Basically district officers and principals.
Now one of the unspoken rules of public speaking is that it’s a good idea not to fight with the audience members. Pander, don’t provoke.
Let’s just say that my behavior onstage sometimes proves that I didn’t get that memo.
It started with a high ranking woman taking a bit of umbrage with my stance that using cell phones in class, as woven into the fabric of a lesson plan, is a much more sensible approach than banning cell phones outright. Why? Because cell phones are here to stay and they virtually demand their own type of literacy and if we can leverage the students’ love of technology and build a bridge between using their cell phone and using their brain to achieve an academic objective, there is nothing wrong with doing so.
Matter of fact, I believe we ought to do more of it. Prohibiting cell phones on campus just strikes me as a battle we will never win. Especially since most teens have their parents buy them their cell phones in the first place which automatically gives cell phone approval that trumps my own disapproval (if I were to disapprove, of course.)
Anyway, that set the stage. She took umbrage with my cell phone stance. And why?
“Because,” as she said, “she can remember back in the 1980’s when kids were doing drug deals in class with their pagers.”
Okay, I won’t even go there. We all know that’s an argument I wouldn’t dare touch because it’s be like take out a bazooka against a person that barely held a poorly constructed bow and arrow.
But then she continued and said, “For example, I just left a session where the person next to me was texting the whole time. I mean they missed the whole session while fiddling with their cell phone. And it was a good session, too. They missed some valuable stuff.”
Now the fight is more fair here, right?
Let’s take a look at her presumption.
First of all, the txt-er could have been tweeting the whole session because they were riveted and really wanted to spread the awesome info to 1,268 of their followers.
Or perhaps, they were taking note on their phone.
Maybe they were live-blogging?
Her presumption that because the person was txting they were missing out on the info could have been preposterously wrong.
Then again, this presupposes the inverse is true – that just because someone is looking at you, they are actually listening to what you are saying.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had my eyes lasered in on some kind of lame consultant as they fumble through a Power Point with an expression that beamed, “I am riveted by your genius!” while inside my brain, I was thinking, “I wonder if Subway is still running that $5 footlong deal. Boy, they have good pepperoncinis.”
In this day and age, a person on the phone is not necessarily a person on the phone and a person looking you in the eye might really be thinking, “McDonalds… I am lovin’ it!”