Where Have All The Forwards Gone?

I have a folder on my computer titled “jokes”. They are my favorite forwards that I’ve received over the years. There’s only one problem…I haven’t updated it in years. My email inbox is no longer full of forwards! Where have all the forwards gone? (Cue the Paula Cole music)

It seems as though these forwards have gone on a diet, started dating some images, and moved out of their parents’ inboxes and are now a resurfacing as only a sentence or two as an overlay on a generic image and posted a social media site. They still are being passed around, but with a cool new “share” button rather than the “forward” or “reply all” button that lead to some of their youthful indiscretions.

Don’t you miss forwards like this?

Hello, and thank you for reading this letter. You see, there is a starving little boy in Baklaliviatatlaglooshen who has no arms, no legs, no parents, and no goats. This little boy’s life could be saved, because for every time you pass this on, a dollar will be donated to the Little Starving Legless Armless Goatless Boy from Baklaliviatatlaglooshen Fund. Remember, we have no way of counting letters sent and this is all bull. So go on, reach out. Send this to 5 people in the next 47 seconds. Oh, and a reminder – if you accidentally send this to 4 or 6 people, you will die instantly. Thanks again!!

How about another classic chain letter:

This is the funniest thing in the world! In exactly 87 seconds, you have to send this to 275 people, then if you press (space bar + tab + backspace + page up) a clip will pop up on your screen of a mad goat attacking Bill Gates and butting him into a pile of garbage! I couldn’t stop laughing, even though since I’m typing this I obviously couldn’t have seen it yet, and there is absolutely no way to attach a clip in a way that you have to send the email before you see the clip, it’s still true! And you know what else is true? I am Batman! And if you stay online doing absolutely nothing for one hour after sending this, I’ll email you a gift certificate for five million dollars to spend at Wal-Mart! Just forget the fact that I have no way of finding the email addresses of people who send this out, and the fact that stores will recognize a fake gift certificate. Just send this out, you’ll be glad you did!

I would get chain letters like the following one with so many forward signs, i.e. >>>>>>>, that I could barely read it.

Hi there!! This chain letter has been in existence since 1897. This is absolutely incredible because there was no email then and probably not as many little 8 year olds writing chain letters. So this is how it works. Pass this on to 15,067 people in the next 7 minutes or something horrible will happen to you like:

Stupid Horror Story #1 Miranda Pinsley was walking home from school on Saturday. She had recently received this letter and ignored it. She then tripped in a crack in the sidewalk, fell into the sewer, was gushed down a drain pipe in a flood of sewerage, and went flying out over a waterfall. Not only did she smell nasty, she died. This Could Happen To You!!!

Stupid Horror Story #2 Dexter Bip, a 13-year-old boy, got a chain letter in his mail and ignored it. Later that day, he was hit by a car and so was his girlfriend. They both died. Their families were so upset that everyone related to them (even by marriage) went crazy and pent the rest of their miserable lives in an institution. This Could Happen To You!!! Remember, you could end up like Pinsley and Bip did. Just send this letter to all of your loser friends, and everything will be OK.

Not all the forwards were jokes. The warned me of the email computer viruses. These were so notorious that even Weird Al made a song about them.

VIRUS WARNING!!! If you receive an email entitled “Bad times,” delete it immediately. Do not open it. Apparently this one is pretty nasty. It will not only erase everything on your hard drive, but it will also delete anything on disks within 20 feet of your computer. It de-magnetizes the stripes on ALL of your credit cards. It reprograms your ATM access code, screws up the tracking on your VCR and uses subspace field harmonics to scratch any CD’s you attempt to play. It will re-calibrate your refrigerator’s coolness settings so all your ice cream melts and your milk curdles. It mixes antifreeze into your aquarium and puts dirty socks on the table when company is coming over. It uses your credit cards, forges your signature, and dates your boy/girlfriend. It will program your phone AutoDial to call only your mother-in-law’s number. It will make mad goats come into your home to raid your refrigerator and soil your furniture. So be careful! Forward this to all of your friends, relatives, neighbors, family, enemies, plumbers, garbage men, stock brokers, doctors, and any other acquaintances! It’s for their own good! Thank you.

Chain letters aren’t the only ones in the folder. There was one that compared work and prison environments.

IN PRISON……….you spend the majority of your time in a 10X10 cell.
AT WORK…………you spend the majority of your time in an 8X8 cubicle.

IN PRISON……….you get three meals a day.
AT WORK…………you get a break for one meal and you have to pay for it.

IN PRISON………you get time off for good behavior.
AT WORK…………you get more work for good behavior.

IN PRISON………the guard locks and unlocks all the doors for you.
AT WORK……….you must often carry a security card and open all the doors for yourself.

IN PRISON……….you can watch TV and play games.
AT WORK…………you could get fired for watching TV and playing games.

IN PRISON……….you get your own toilet.
AT WORK………..you have to share the toilet with some people who pee on the seat.

IN PRISON……….they allow your family and friends to visit.
AT WORK…………you aren’t even supposed to speak to your family.

IN PRISON……….all expenses are paid by the taxpayers with no work required.
AT WORK……you get to pay all your expenses to go to work, and they deduct taxes from your salary to pay for prisoners.

IN PRISON………you spend most of your life inside bars wanting to get out
AT WORK ………..you spend most of your time wanting to get out and go inside bars.

IN PRISON ……you must deal with sadistic wardens.
AT WORK…………they are called managers


There was another that explained life.

On the first day God created the cow. God said, “You must go to the field with the farmer all day long and suffer under the sun, have calves and give milk to support the farmer. I will give you a life span of sixty years.” The cow said, “That’s a kind of tough life you want me to live for sixty years. Let me have twenty years and I’ll give back the other forty.” And God agreed.

On the second day, God created the dog. God said, “Sit all day by the door of your house and bark at anyone who comes in or walks past. I will give you a life span of twenty years.” The dog said, “That’s too long to be barking. Give me ten years and I’ll give back the other ten.” So God agreed. (sigh).

On the third day God created the monkey. God said, “Entertain people, do monkey tricks, make them laugh. I’ll give you a twenty year life span.”  Monkey said, “How boring, monkey tricks for twenty years? I don’t think so. Dog gave you back ten, so that’s what I’ll do too, okay?” And God agreed,  again.

On the fourth day God created man. God said, “Eat, sleep, play, enjoy. Do nothing, just enjoy, enjoy. I’ll give you twenty years.”  Man said, “What? Only twenty years? No way man. Tell you what, I’ll take my twenty, and the forty cow gave back, and the ten dog gave back and the ten monkey gave back. That makes eighty, okay?” “Okay, said God. You’ve got a deal.”

So that is why for the first twenty years we eat, sleep, play, enjoy, and do nothing; for the next forty years we slave in the sun to support our family; for the next ten years we do monkey tricks to entertain our grandchildren; and for the last ten years we sit in front of the house and bark at everybody.

Life has now been explained.

I also learned that in my next life, I should be a bear.

In my next life I want to be a bear.  If you’re a bear, you get to hibernate. You do nothing but sleep for six months.  I could deal with that.

Before you hibernate, you’re supposed to eat yourself stupid.  I could deal with that, too. If you’re a bear, you birth your children (who are the size of walnuts) while you’re sleeping and wake up to partially grown, cute cuddly cubs.  I could definitely deal with that.

If you’re a mama bear, everyone knows you mean business. You swat anyone who bothers your cubs. If your cubs get out of line, you swat them too.  I could deal with that.

If you’re a bear, your mate EXPECTS you to wake up growling. He EXPECTS that you will have hairy legs and excess body fat.  Yup…..Gonna be a bear

I learned about cownomics.

You have two cows. You sell one and buy a bull. Your herd multiplies and the economy grows. You retire on the income.

You have two cows. You sell one and force the other to produce the milk of  four cows. You profess surprise when the cow drops dead.

You have two cows. You sell three of them to your publicly listed company, using letters of credit opened by your brother-in-law at the bank, then execute a debt-equity swap with an associated general offer so that you get all four cows back, with a tax exemption for five cows. The milk rights of the six cows are transferred via an intermediary to a Cayman Island company secretly owned by the majority shareholder who sells the rights to all seven cows back to your listed company. The annual report says the company owns eight cows with an option on one more. Sell one cow to buy White House influence, leaving you with nine cows. No balance sheet provided with the release. The public buys your bull.

You have two cows. You go on strike because you want three cows.

You have two cows. You re-engineer them so that they live for 100 years,  eat once a month, and milk themselves
You have two cows. They are both mad.

You have two cows. You don’t know where they are. You break for lunch.

You have 5000 cows, none of which belong to you. You charge others for storing them.

You have two cows. You redesign them so that they are one-tenth the size of an ordinary cow and produce twenty times the milk. You then create cute cartoon cow images called Cowkimon and market them worldwide.

You have two cows. You count them and learn you have five cows. You count them again and learn you have 42 cows. You count them again and learn you have 17 cows. You give up counting and open another bottle of vodka.

You have two cows. You worship them.

You have two cows. You have 300 people milking them. You claim full employment, high bovine productivity, and arrest anyone reporting the actual numbers.

You have two cows. The one on the left is kinda cute…

I even got life lessons from my “mother”.

What my mother taught me:

My mother taught me to appreciate a job well-done:
“If you’re going to kill each other, do it outside – I just finished cleaning!”

My mother taught me religion:
“You better pray that will come out of the carpet.”

My mother taught me about time travel: ”
“If you don’t straighten up, I’m going to knock you into the middle of next week!”

My mother taught me logic:
“Because I said so, that’s why.”

My mother taught me foresight:
“Make sure you wear clean underwear, in case you’re in an accident.”

My mother taught me irony:
“Keep crying and I’ll give you something to cry about.”

My mother taught me about the science of osmosis:
“Shut your mouth and eat your supper!”

My mother taught me about contortionism:
“Will you look at the dirt on the back of your neck!”

My mother taught me about stamina:
“You’ll sit there ’til all that spinach is eaten.”

My mother taught me about weather:
“It looks as if a tornado swept through your room.”

My mother taught me how to solve physics problems:
“If I yelled because I saw a meteor coming toward you; would you listen then?”

My mother taught me about hypocrisy:
“If I’ve told you once, I’ve told you a million times – don’t exaggerate!!!”

My mother taught me the circle of life:
“I brought you into this world, and I can take you out.”

My mother taught me about behavior modification:
“Stop acting like your father!”

My mother taught me about envy:
“There are millions of less fortunate children in this world who don’t have wonderful parents like you do!”

There are more in this folder on my computer (well, okay Google Drive), but those rebellious forwards will have to wait for another day.

And if you have more forwards you’d like to see here, feel free to submit it in a guest post!

Guest Post: EdTech Tools in Higher Education

Guest Post By: Trisha Mukerjee

“EdTech is the study and the ethical practice of learning and improving performance by using, creating and managing appropriate technological processes and resources.”

As the world evolves in the virtual hemisphere. The education system of the world also joins the bandwagon. The concept of EdTech has finally reached the higher education sector. Colleges are making sure that they incorporate more and more technology into their curriculum. From using digital devices and incorporating digital badges as their core marking scene. Universities at a global level are striving towards the digital era.

Check the infographic to know more about the various tools of EdTech and why is EdTech required.

shiksha study abroad edtech infographic





Author Bio:
Trisha is a professional writer and has been writing on a variety of topics. She is an ardent reader, a traveler and a passionate photographer. She wants to explore the world and write about whatever comes across her way.

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Technology-Use Classroom Policies: Let the Students Decide

Are you in favor of the zero-tolerance, paper and pencil only policy? Or, do you take the-more-the-merrier approach? Something in between?

Technology use in the classroom is the bane of many a teacher’s existence. Teachers struggle with the excellent benefits that technology can provide and the tempting distractions it allows.

So what are the benefits? Note-taking. Reference a large volume of text without the weight. Disability support. Educational support apps/programs. Email. Cloud storage and collaboration.

And the tempting distractions? Let me count the ways…social media, games, internet memes, non-educational apps/programs, text messaging. Even beneficial things can become a distraction, for example email and cloud storage. Students could be working on homework for one class while ignoring the teacher of the class they are currently in. When students snap back to attention, they ask the same questions that have just been asked because they were not listening. Precious class time is wasted in repetition. Then, the students who were paying attention get bored by the repetition and then become distracted by their technological device of choice.

So what is a teacher to do? Let the students decide.


Create a document in Google docs that all students can edit. Give the students a one week deadline to edit policies and consequences as they see fit. Discuss with your students the conundrum you face with technology–your goals versus its distractions.

This will allow the students to feel their desire to use technology is respected. It will invite students to police each other.

Of course, this may not work. Teachers may need to reserve the right to veto outlandish policies or enforce accountability measures. It all really depends on your students. However, if you have found your blanket policies to be ineffective at curbing distractions, perhaps the best strategy is to go straight to the source for feedback.

iPad as the Teacher’s Pet: An Infographic

This infographic was created by @TonyVincent.  It is the most thorough, most informative, and most helpful iPad app infographic for education that I have seen.   This infographic is more than just a .jpg or .png file; it was uploaded to Scribd, so that the included links to the apps or other websites would work.

On Tony’s blog entry for this infographic he also posted links to download a 6-page version to print or a very large 24-page version to piece together to make a poster.

Teens and Technology

I recently read a blog post on Big Think entitled, “When Does Teen Mobile Usage Become an Addiction?  How to Mitigate Excessive Use” and it brought up some points I’ve been hearing either for quite some time or have recently been hearing around the digital water cooler.

There have been expert opinions tossed around, parent opinions, and teen opinions; however, I’ve found the teacher opinions to be a bit underrepresented in the conversation.  I think teachers have a perspective that needs to be acknowledged and considered when parents and lawmakers are making decisions regarding teen “addiction” to their mobile devices.

The first point the article made was the definition of an addiction.  It has become common for people to causally throw the word “addiction” around, for example, “I’m addicted to Castle.” or “I’m so addicted to diet Pepsi.”  Are we really addicted to it, or are we just using the word “addicted” to mean “really like something”.  An addiction is, “something that interferes with you living your life”.

Some examples [of addiction] include the following: inability to keep a job because of the addiction; harmed and/or lost relationships as a result of lying to justify the chosen addiction; [and] positive growth such as staying healthy, creating healthy relationships, and progressing in life are all made secondary to the habit.  So when it comes to your teen’s “addiction” to their cell phone, it probably isn’t a true addiction, per se.

If an electronic device is severely harming your life, then there is cause for concern and drastic measures.  If the student has been fired from her part-time job at the local grocery store because she can’t put her phone away when asked repeatedly, that’s a problem.  However, if she’s still doing all her homework and performing well in school, yet she picks up her phone in the middle of dinner to check a message when her phone just chirped, this is a different problem entirely.  There is a difference between rude behavior and addiction.

Respect Conversations With Others: Texting and tweeting shouldn’t come between real human contact, thus being distracted by a phone can harm relationships.

You should always put “real human contact”, as in physical, person-to-person contact, above texting and tweeting.  However, texting and tweeting allow you to open up your social circle to access people you may not otherwise be able to access.  It allows you to multitask.  Perhaps you don’t have the time to sit down and spend two hours visiting with someone.  But, you are able to work at your computer (or cook dinner, or do laundry, other household chores, etc.) and talk via text message…this human interaction is better than none at all.  I’ve spent time person-to-person with someone and left feeling like I’ve wasted my time and that we could have just talked via messaging or by phone.   In other words, before you disregard texting and tweeting for real human contact, examine who are you are talking with, what are you talking about, and how much time you have available.  Before you yell at your teen to get off her phone, be sure to ask if she’s being productive first.  She could be tweeting me, her teacher, with a question about tonight’s homework.

Never use the phone in the car, especially while driving: This is a given, but distracted driving is one of the leading causes of accidents and deaths on the roadway. If your teen learns not to use the phone in the car, a lot of tragedy can be avoided.

As an English teacher, my only issues are with the way these sentences are worded.  If you are the driver, you should never use your phone to check text messages, emails, or the like.  Your eyes should never be taken off the road.  However, if you don’t know where you are going and you can set your phone up before you put your car in drive with talking directions on how to get you to where you are going and then put your phone where you can hear it but don’t touch it, you should do this.  Why?  Because how much more distracted are you by looking down at the printed directions or map?  A bit more.  Use the phone to reduce distractions, not create more.  Oh, and again with the wording…never use it in the car?  If you’re the passenger, first try to use your phone to assist the driver in reducing any problems, after that, you can use your phone…just don’t distract the driver by telling him to look at this cute cat video you just found.

Learn To Recognize Bad Habits: One reason teens turn to smart phones is boredom, causing this behavior to become a habit. Realizing this can help your teen resist checking their phone out of habit.

I don’t know of anyone who doesn’t have some sort of habit they do when they’re bored.  Some people bite their fingernails.  Some pick their nose.  Some teens have engaged in activities that have created children.  Some people check their phone and read a few articles.  I’d opt for the reading articles.  Reading is reading.  Some people just aren’t the type to grab a book, sit down and read for two hours.  I am; however, I rarely have the time to.  Some people read in their spare moments.  I do this frequently.

Use a Bucket to Enforce No-Phone Family Time: One effective way is to get a bucket and have everyone place their deactivated devices inside it during family time (meal times, relative visits, board game nights, etc.). Not only will this help to teach your teens about phone etiquette, but it will also allow you to set an example by abstaining from your own phone usage.

I think this is a great idea…except you shouldn’t deactivate/turn off the devices.  Why?  With more and more people eliminating their house phone in favor of cell phones, what happens when an emergency arises?  You may be eating dinner, but what if someone is trying to contact you?  (My mom used to do this about 4-5 years ago, turned her phone off unless she needed to make a phone call…didn’t work well when I needed to call her). What if your teen’s classmate forgot to write the homework down and her parents have told them to text their friend from the class to get the homework, and your teen’s phone is off?  Phones are two-way communication devices.  Remember if you turn it off, you are restricting access to you.  If someone is relying on you, you are now penalizing them.  This goes for parents too; setting an example is great, but don’t let it come at the cost of your job.  Make sure you’re not the one on-call that night.  An alternative can be to leave your device on, but in the other room so that you’re not checking it constantly, but you can hear it if it rings.

Consider Pre-Paid Phones Instead of Prohibition: For habitual violators, you could consider using a pre-paid plan instead of instituting outright phone prohibition. That way your teen still gets the opportunity to exercise discipline and learn to ration their phone usage. And if they fail to do this, the phone will become a useless brick until you choose to add more time and data. Thus, a logical set of consequences will result from their overusing the phone.

This is a great alternative idea.  Prohibition or taking a device away can cause more harm than you think.  Let me give you an example.  Your teen spends too much time on social media sites.  You feel it is excessive and have given ample warnings about consequences.  Your teen may have said it was school-related, but you weren’t buying it.  So, you decide to take away your teen’s laptop for the week.  The same laptop that he brings to school every day.  The same laptop he uses for working on homework.  You tell him that he can use the general home computer where you can watch him, if he “really needs it”.  You think you’ve done a good job.  In fact, you’ve punished his grade.  What you didn’t know was that he needed his laptop in school that week for writing a paper.  His teacher was giving them class time to work on the paper and without the laptop (he planned to have), he’ll lose participation points.  Or, perhaps he was working on a group project in which all his part of the work was saved on the hard drive.  Or, the most important thing, his teacher was relying on him to bring his laptop because there weren’t enough laptops in the laptop carts for class use and your son popped up and said, “no worries, I can bring my own”.  Now his teacher will have to figure out where to find another computer, at the last-minute, for him to use.

Electronic devices are not just for fun.  Many people use them for entertainment, but many people use them also for work/school work.  Restricting the access to these devices will do you or your student no benefit…unless you have done your “homework” to ensure your student will not be penalized.  If you feel that restricting access to a particular technology is necessary because the student is abusing it, and the student didn’t pay for it in the first place, as a parent, you have that right.  However, do not make the situation into a bigger issue.  Email your student’s teachers to inform them that your child has been restricted from the use of a device or that your child only can use the internet for two hours a night to be sure you and the teacher can work out something that will allow the student to not be penalized far beyond what you intended.  Additionally, arming yourself with information from your student’s teacher will let you know if your student really does have a paper due Friday…or if he is just pulling your leg to weasel his computer back.

In summary: phones, laptops, tablets, computers, etc. are all two-way devices that can be used for leisure, but many teens use them to work. Teaching responsible use of technology instead of outright prohibition is imperative because as a teacher, I rely on my students and their technology.  If a student says he will bring his laptop tomorrow…I’m expecting him to bring his laptop.

Vintage Social Networking

What does “vintage social networking” look like?  Look back and pick apart where your favorite sites were 10 years ago…

vintage social networking

Original Source: John Atkinson, Wrong Hands, http:wronghands1.wordpress.com

Found via: Tech for Teachers