Tag Archives: cell phones

Cell Phone Etiquette (Red Light Edition)

Great minds think alike.

Alert “06880” reader Scott Smith sent this story idea along. But I’ve thought of it often. So, I’m sure, have you. 

Scott says:

Like most alert “06880” followers, I’ve enjoyed your postings about sloppy or selfish parking jobs.

And like any modern motorist, I’m aware of the dangers of distracted driving. I try to keep my best to keep my cell phone in my pocket when I’m on the road.

But I haven’t noticed any attention paid to a peeve that’s getting worse: The habit of some drivers to wait until they’re at a light to check their phone.

I’m sort of fine with that — except when the light turns green, and the driver in the car ahead of me still has his or her head down.

Cell phone use at traffic light

The car in front of theirs moves — but they don’t. The worst is when you’re in a quick left-hand turn lane. The driver in front of me usually notices the green arrow just in time to speed up and be the last car through.

This strikes me as a frustrating and growing trend. I wonder what the policy to counter such behavior should be. Do we give the cell phone driver a light tap on the horn?

Or do we just accept that traffic lights are a moment in time when you check your texts (or Google Map or Mapquest) for directions?

Either way, it’s driving me crazy.

“06880” readers: What’s the solution? Be creative — but not profane. Click “Comments” below to weigh in on this First World problem.

Westport Students: BYOD

New York City is finally ending its long ban on cellphones in schools.

At Brien McMahon High School, a student said recently, anyone who brings a laptop to class is considered weird.

Westport, meanwhile, plows ahead with its “Bring Your Own Device” initiative. Beginning next year, students will be required to provide their own technology during the school day.

Technology 1 - NBC News

Students use their own devices — which tie in to classroom technology like Smart Boards. (Photo/NBC News)

According to Inklings, the Staples newspaper — accessible online, of course — the Board of Education heard a BYOD progress report last month.

A PowerPoint presentation (natch) noted that this month, parents will be advised of specifications for “devices that may be purchased.” The months ahead brings parent information sessions, student input and “boot camps” for students and teachers.

Inklings reported that the Westport School District will provide “refurbished devices” for elementary and middle schoolers who are financially unable to purchase their own; Staples students will get new Chromebooks. Funding comes from a $30,000 line item for new technology purchases this year.

Electronic devices don't necessarily lead to isolation. In fact, they can increase collaboration.

Electronic devices don’t necessarily lead to isolation. In fact, they can increase collaboration. (Photo/HerffJones)

According to Inklings, townwide director of technology Natalie Carrignan said that 60% of students already bring their own devices to school.

At Staples, that percentage seems low. Laptops, tablets and cellphones are everywhere. They’re used constantly — often for schoolwork, occasionally not.

Each month, it seems, fewer and fewer students sit at the desktop computers that fill the library and learning centers. And the laptops that teachers can sign out for class use are often slow, unreliable and out of date.

Sure, Staples students use laptops to play games or watch videos. But even in the cafeteria, the amount of schoolwork that gets done is compelling.

Sure, Staples students use laptops to play games or watch videos. But even in the cafeteria, the amount of schoolwork that gets done is compelling. (Photo/www.District196.org)

If you think there should still be a debate about using technological devices in school, you might have argued a century ago that cars may not be the best replacement for horses.

Westport students live their lives online. So do most teachers.

Our school district’s job is to prepare young people for life through the end of this century. Administrators and the Board of Ed are figuring out how to harness technology, to best serve education in the sciences, humanities and arts. They recognize reality in many forms (including financial).

But if you’d like to offer your own insights, click “Comments.” On whatever electronic device you’re using right now.