Wednesday, March 11, 2015

BurnBook - An App Created for Bullying?

Photo from 10News:

I shared the below information with my management team today as Burn Book seems to be the latest and greatest way for high school students to cyber bully. Feel free to modify and use if needed.

But more importantly, I encourage you to read this blog post by a high school student about the impact these types of apps have on people:

By now, most of you have probably heard of an app called BurnBook.

Burn book allows students to anonymously post comments about anything. They choose their school, and then start posting. There are a lot of mean comments about other students and teachers being posted on the app, and occasionally threats to the safety of the school’s campus.

I began monitoring the app the other day, and so far, it seems to be focused on high schools. 

The high school district personnel have started a campaign to talk to students on all their campuses about the seriousness of posting threats on the app. Because of this, there may be a temporary increase in student curiosity as older siblings come home and share the information. And this morning San Marcos responded to a school threat posted via the app ( so that will be on the news this evening. 

Unfortunately, we can’t block access to the app because students are using their own devices to access it.  What we can do, however, is remind students about the impact cyberbullying can have on others. And also let students know that anonymous does not mean untraceable – IP addresses are recorded by the app and can be used to trace people posting serious threats.

More Information: 

Burnbook App CEO Promises Change After School Threat - 

Burnbook: Can An Annonymous App Have a Conscience - 

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Technology is Not the GrandMaster of the Ticker Tape Parade

High School Student's FB this morning

On #CAEdChat Sunday night, we discussed ways to "pimp" our lessons so that students walk in the door jazzed to learn. Dave Burgess, author of Teach Like a Pirate, shared that he always asks, "Here's my how can I make this come ALIVE?! How can I create an EXPERIENCE?" 

So often, I see teachers who drag the technology out of the cupboard and expect the students to start the ticker tape parade. 

But students are bored, just like the high school student who posted the above FB pic this morning from his class.  Technology is not a ticker tape parade for them. But learning should be!

As student Alex Bockert explained during #CAEdChat, "Don't start with all the actual work/research to be done - start with why this project will rock."

So how will you make learning rock today?