Wednesday, December 5, 2007

NYC's Blackberry Brigade

Alexander Russo captured the cultural ethos of the NYC DOE yesterday, snapping the Tweedie Birds strumming their Blackberries on camera. If you've attended any NYC events recently, you already know that the best way to identify DOE employees is to scan the room for Blackberry action when someone else is speaking. Another telltale sign: most DOE employees recently hit puberty.

But what are they doing with those flickering thumbs?

- Sending winks to potential dates on
- Checking fantasy football scores
- Changing mood emoticon on facebook
- Reading alma mater newspaper (here, here, or here)
- Making plans to meet date at Nobu Next Door
- Browsing for Next Door date get-up
- Shopping for private schools for future spawn of the Next Door date
- Submitting application for job at the Parthenon Group ("smart, nice, and driven")
- Online betting
- Online betting on which NYC schools will close next
- Creating solutions through synergistic best practices and paradigm shifting
- Stocking up on absinthe for holiday party
- Playing Pub Fun Duck Shoot
- Pricing newest Blackberry model

*And a great addition by reader "skoolboy": real-time transcribing of Diane Ravitch's remarks.


ez said...

So accurate.

Skoolboy said...

-Writing e-mails that read, "Thank you for your inquiry. The answer to your question is ARIS."
-Polishing their resumes on
-Ordering 15,000 cellphones
-Calculating standard errors and confidence intervals
-Forwarding e-mails to Martine Guerrier
-Real-time transcribing of Diane Ravitch's remarks
-Scoring Periodic Assessments
-Launching the "Thank a DOE Weasel" campaign
-Trying to figure out why they call them "circulars" when they're flat and rectangular
-Reducing Rubber Room class size the hard way
-Surreptitiously reading Eduwonkette

Alexander Russo said...

thanks for the link.

here's are the event pics 'kette is talking about from PS133:

Anonymous said...

No argument from me on the obnoxiousness of BlackBerrys in general, but you write this as though it's a phenomenon that's unique to the NYC DOE. Name a communications office in any public or private organization these days that isn't chained to their BlackBerrys. Hell, there are plenty of organizations - again, both public and private - where just about every employee in every office has a BlackBerry.

I hate to say it, but it seems like you're turning into just another blind critic of Bloomberg/Klein, and it's disappointing after your much more objective start.

Skoolboy said...

The problem is, Anon 1:23, that (a) it's not just the communications staff that is constantly checking e-mail on their BlackBerry, and (b) it's done in a way that is disrespectful and contemptuous of others. Heck, I have a boss who is chained to her BlackBerry. But she is extremely knowledgeable about her job, and knows how to listen to others. I've been in meetings with some of these DOE weasels, and there is a lot they could learn from listening more carefully to what's going on around them. I don't think it's "blind criticism" to point out that an organization that makes one big mistake after another might make better decisions if it paid closer attention to what knowledgeable people -- teachers, researchers, policy analysts, and parents -- have to say, rather than turning inward via the technology of the BlackBerry.

ed notes online said...

As an admittedly blind critic, it is unfair to characterize this blog as just another blind critic of BloomKlein. The closer you watch them the more critical you become. Once you see the basic destructiveness of their actions you can no longer be a "fair" critic if there is such a thing.

Many non-educators (privatizers, especially) have a lot invested in seeing BloomKlein succeed or at least giving the impression of succeeding that they have turned into blind cheerleaders, the local and national press included. But talk one on one with reporters in NYC on the beat and they often roll their eyes at what's going on but can't really report the way they would like due to their editors (they will deny this.)

Look at the pass Paul Vallas is given for destroying 2 and now 3 school systems. Watch all the excuses by him and BloomKlein while repeating the mantra of "No Excuse."

NYC Educator said...

I was flabbergasted by the video of Joel Klein fumfering with his Blackberry during the PEP meeting. He showed those people markedly less respect than I show my students.

Anonymous said...

The principal at my former school was constantly on his blackberry. He often would look down at it during meetings with parents and children regarding important incidents. He would also answer it while leading Professional Development sessions and meetings. It is simply disrespectful and inappropriate and it sent the wrong message to the students. It is no wonder they would all write similar persuasive essays about why it was unfair that they weren't allowed to have cell phones when their principal was constantly on his blackberry.

It is disrespectful for anyone to answer a blackberry in the middle of a meeting. It sends a very clear message, and I would hope to see less of this behavior in a school.