On his way to the police station, Buck took out his cell phone and sent a message to his friends and contacts using the micro-blogging site Twitter.
The message only had one word. “Arrested.”
Within seconds, colleagues in the United States and his blogger-friends in Egypt — the same ones who had taught him the tool only a week earlier — were alerted that he was being held.
No wonder we take kids’ cell phones away from them in school…
Very interesting use of Twitter!
Tim Goree says
Now we can honestly tell teachers that this is a skill that may well save their students’ lives someday…
Charlie A. Roy says
I spent hours yesterday at a teacher inservice and some of the time was spent explaining the educational uses of phones. Some still don’t get it. I actually have a group of teacher who want phones banned completely from the building. Sigh!
Doug Spicher says
In a perfect world, this would be great. However, how do you stop the cheating that uses a cell phone or worse, the plans to meet for a fight or other “activity”? You tell me how to do that, and I’ll go to the BOE here tomorrow!
Could you do me a favor, rather than going to the BOE an fighting for them to allow cell phones, could you ask them to ban paper and pen, I think that more kids use those to cheat and to arrange fights than use cell phones to do that.
I recently went on a field trip with my students to the Liberty Science Center in NJ. They had a feature that I have never seen before. In the Eat or Be Eaten exhibition, they had these sign everywhere.
Use your cell phone to find out more about these animals call 201.200.0201. all you had to do was the call the number and enter the code, there were about 30 of these sign in this one exhibit, code 110-140. The explanations were very detailed, not only did they explain what you were looking out, they described the actual exhibit, if you were unable to sign the animal why that might be, where you should look.
I thought that this was one of the best uses of cell phones for education that I had ever encountered. I have seen similar things, The Body Exhibit lets you buy a wand that does the same thing, you can enter the code next to each exhibit. Has anyone ever seen this use of cell phone technology?
Mr Boots says
Seems rather silly to me, why not just put the info on a sign next to the exhibit so everyone can learn ? Rube Goldberg would be proud.
Signs would require that the students be able to read. Reading is a low level skill that is being replaced with higher level reasoning skills – like watching movies and sharing ignorance in groups and through multi-media presentations.
I was quite entertained when texting was used as a way for the audience to interact during a Blue Man Group show that my family went to in February. Throughout the show we were texted trivia questions, and winners received back stage passes. The funny part–they gave instructions via a LED sign to people who were clueless to pass their phones to someone under 25.
So many concerts are integrating texting into the show… I participated in U2’s text campaign during one of their concerts ~3 years ago and I still have “Bono’s” response to me on my phone! It’s not unlike the “I’ll never wash this hand again” experience that my mother and grandmother had years ago…
The way some schools are locked down, I am surprised teachers cell phones aren’t taken away.
“No wonder we take kidsâ€™ cell phones away from them in schoolâ€¦” — what does this mean? Are American schools “jails”?
r. bromley says
The use of cel phones in academic settings is problematic because (1) there is a disparity between those who have access to them and those who do not, and (2) there is little way to control how they are used if they’re out.
I prefer to ask my junior public school students to set their phones to silent and keep them in pockets. That way, the technology is always present, and can be used discretely during breaks.
The discrete use of cel/twitter probably proved invaluable to the kid jailed in Egypt.
I wonder if, like so many high schoolers I know, he perfected his ability to text blindly from inside his pocket while he was in class?
Another thankyou to Mr. Technology 😀
The “kid” was a graduate student…
r. bromley says
‘Kid’ is a relative term. I’ve got friends in grad school who are in their early twenties. Chronological age aside, being in a foreign jail would terrify anybody.
Check out this Montgomery and Fryer podcast as it relates to the controversial use of cell phones for learning…
Cell phones continue to be referred to as a device that its only use is for social activities. Many teachers want cell phones to be banned for the reasons that their students will use them to socialize and will not pay attention to the lesson plans. Cell phones are very useful. They are just like computers in that cell phones have ways they can be used for good and ways that they can be misused. Computers are well accepted in schools and can be used for the same purposes that cell phones are banned from a lot of schools. This situations shows that cell phones are a very useful tools and can be used in very productive ways. Cell phones should be aloud to be held in schools for many reasons. This article is an example of where if someone has a cell phone they can get out of some bad situations in a hurry.
An amazing story! I would be terrified if that happened to me. It’s great that he found a way to let others know what happened to him. But I think it helped that the Egyptian authorities probably were not too familiar with the Twitter microblog, otherwise…