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Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Maybe we should try this in high school

Rudbeckia Hirta, the pseudonymous math professor from a state university in the south, recounts a story with a delicious little idea at the end:
So today I saw one of the football players in the class sending text messages on his cell phone. I say to him, “You don’t need that now. Put it away.” And he was like, “I’m using the calculator to calculate.” Unfortunately for him, at the time the board looked like:



(I was getting ready to write: “Show that there must be a prime number > 5.”)

So I responded, “All we have so far is 5. We don’t even have an operation. You don't need a calculator for 5.”

He sulked and put it away.

What I wish I had was his phone number (which I don’t because he added after the first day, and I collected that information on the first day) and a Bluetooth cell phone that worked with Address Book because then I would send him an SMS message via my laptop (probably something like “Stop texting during class”), projected on the screen in the front of the room for all to see.
Maybe that’s an idea that we could try in Weston — not that any of our students would ever text in class — oh, no, not in Weston.

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