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• Teachers Twitter Lessons for Jaded Youths

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 12 comments

TAMPA, FL – As the evermore popular Twitter social networking tool infiltrates society, one Tampa, FL teacher is using it to teach her students, 140 characters at a time.

“I was having a hard time keeping the kids awake through my lessons on Shakespeare, so I took to condensing his works into Tweets,” explained Marjorie Lansing, a tenth-grade English teacher at Chamberlain High School. “They seem to dig it. And it’s a lot better than the hokey reenactments I would do in class.”

Boiling down an entire play to Twitter’s confining structure is no easy task, though.

Romeo and Juliet, for instance, is reduced to: “Romeo falls n luv w/ Juliet. J's 'rents protest. J feigns suicide. R sees her, snuffs it. J snuffs it. Rival families weep, cease feud. End.”

“You get all the important parts in a short little burst,” Lansing explained, “and none of the verbose linguistic self-satisfying nonsense that Shakespeare peppered his works with.”

When asked if this oversimplification of such a timeless classic as Romeo and Juliet is only helping to destroy the attention span of America’s youth, Lansing stated that “keeping it real with today’s kids means playing the game at their level. If they’re dumber for it, who cares?”

Lansing’s students unanimously approve of her method, citing Charles Bukowski’s assertion that true genius is in the ability to explain something complicated in the shortest, simplest way.

Twitter seems to agree, and is launching a sister-site, TwitterU, to be used by universities to make a college education a reality for even the most uninitiated.

“We saw the popularity and legitimacy of online degrees from such institutions as the University of Phoenix, and figured our model is a great way to cash in on the trend,” explained Twitter founder Jack Dorsey. With many top-tiered universities signing on for the Beta model, Dorsey’s TwitterU may be a smart gamble.

Arthur MacDonald, Professor of philosophy at the University of Washington, however, disagrees. “To truly learn something takes more than 140 characters,” MacDonald argues. When asked to expound upon that, he politely declined.

TwitterU is set to launch in August.

Marjorie Lansing’s Tweets can be followed @MarjLansing on Twitter.

[• This story, marked with a • is weekend entertainment content only and should not to be considered factual ]

Display 12 Comments.
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  • 8 Hide
    fuser , May 23, 2009 3:23 PM
    This is a joke, right? Is this Tampa teacher going to teach her kids how to fill out a McDonald's application in 140 characters or less?
  • -2 Hide
    Anonymous , May 23, 2009 4:03 PM
    @fuser: Your comment was 136 characters, and you were able to make your point quite clearly!
  • 3 Hide
    brendano257 , May 23, 2009 4:37 PM
    Does it get the job done? Not really, if you forget anything out of one tweet, you've lost the entire story and it's not good. If you read the entire play and forget 30% of it, you still remember the gist of it. What happened to having a little bit of fun quoting something deep, or even something stupid from plays you've read in English? I think rather bluntly this is a very very very poor over-simplification. Try doing PROPER grammar in 140 characters or less.... There has to be more ways to keep kids awake in class, honestly. I think if this becomes widespread we will see the consequences to society in intelligence/capability to speak, whole correct sentences. Thismarks a regression in the English language I would have to say.
  • 2 Hide
    Anonymous , May 23, 2009 5:55 PM
    guys read the fine print. its a joke!
  • 2 Hide
    Tindytim , May 23, 2009 7:54 PM
    Quote:
    [• This story, marked with a • is weekend entertainment content only and should not to be considered factual ]
  • 0 Hide
    one-shot , May 23, 2009 9:01 PM
    This is great. Awesome Joke. Fine print is for those who read the whole story!
  • 2 Hide
    Anonymous , May 24, 2009 3:37 AM
    So... Best of Media considers Twitter a joke? I think I'm starting to like these articles.. :3
  • 1 Hide
    fuser , May 24, 2009 4:32 PM
    No! They must have added that bullet item after I read it! LOL
  • 1 Hide
    m3kt3k , May 24, 2009 8:48 PM
    HMMM I think they are right about this. Didnt Stephen Hawkings explain the Theory of everything in less the 140 Char's.
  • 1 Hide
    Nuke_Meltdown , May 25, 2009 3:38 AM
    This is just another iPhone ad......+ a joke
  • 3 Hide
    bill gates is your daddy , May 26, 2009 1:28 PM
    [• This story, marked with a • is weekend entertainment content only and should not to be considered factual ]

    The sad thing is....that in today's society this could actually be a true story. We are eventually going to produce a generation where if you can't place information in a 15 second sound bite their interest will wane and end up staring into the sun with drool coming out of their mouth.
  • 1 Hide
    blackened144 , May 26, 2009 5:36 PM
    bill gates is your daddy[• This story, marked with a • is weekend entertainment content only and should not to be considered factual ]The sad thing is....that in today's society this could actually be a true story. We are eventually going to produce a generation where if you can't place information in a 15 second sound bite their interest will wane and end up staring into the sun with drool coming out of their mouth.

    Exactly.. It took me until the first quote to realize the Terminator article was fake, but it wasnt until I got to the end of this one that it set in.. Im pretty sure that every kid I know under 16 couldnt even make it through that whole twitter without their eyes glazing over.