Let the Record show that the kids are not the only ones
February 25th, 2009

The Mayor of New York will not allow mobile phones in the public schools because the kids abuse them. That point of view has pretty much kept the paid-for computers young people carry with them from being used in education. Dana Milbank’s column today in the Washington Post describes how members of Congress twittered while the President of the United States addressed them. My guess is that by the time the new generation is running things, they will have worked out ways to integrate mobile communication into learning and listening venues without disrupting.

For the Record, from Milbank in the WaPo:

President Obama spoke of economic calamity and war last night in that solemn rite of democracy, the address to the joint session of Congress. And lawmakers watched him with the dignity Americans have come to expect of their leaders: They whipped out their BlackBerrys and began sending text messages like high school kids bored in math class.

“One doesn’t want to sound snarky, but it is nice not to see Cheney up there,” Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) announced as Obama entered the chamber.

“I did big wooohoo for Justice Ginsberg,” Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) broadcast, misspelling the name of the ailing Supreme Court justice. McCaskill could be seen applauding with BlackBerry in one hand.

“Capt Sully is here — awesome!” announced Rep. John Culberson (R-Tex.), spotting the US Airways pilot in the gallery.

Then there was Rep. Joe Barton (R-Tex.), in whose name this text message was sent at about the time the president spoke of the need to pull the country together: “Aggie basketball game is about to start on espn2 for those of you that aren’t going to bother watching pelosi smirk for the next hour.” A few minutes later, another message came through: “Disregard that last Tweet from a staffer.”

It’s bad enough that Americans are paralyzed by economic jitters. Now the president has to deal with lawmakers paralyzed by Twitter. . . .


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