Letters: Clickers, Woodpeckers

Readers responded to the story on clickers and on a California community's war on woodpeckers. Melissa Block and Robert Siegel read from listeners' comments.

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ROBERT SIEGEL, host:

Now, to your letters.

MELISSA BLOCK, host:

And we begin with our story about clickers, those are the little response generating keypads popping up on university campuses.

SIEGEL: As we heard in the story, some teachers say that clickers help engage text savvy students. Others see them as an unnecessary gimmick.

BLOCK: And we have seen that debate over technology in schools play out on our comments page, but Adam Bloom of New York City didn't weigh in on that discussion. He has simply had it with clicking.

SIEGEL: He writes this. During my first year of law school, students were required to have clickers. We used them to sign in at the beginning of class for attendance purposes and then to answer questions during lecture. I have no less fond memory of law school than tinkering with that idiotic gadget to answer a question and then watching my property professor look at the class bar graphed responses and say, well, maybe we need to review this concept again tomorrow.

I later transferred law schools and the first thing I did when I got my new apartment was place my clicker on the floor and smash it with a bat, although in fairness, I did not visibly damage it. So the one thing I'll say for my clicker, it was a well-built device.

BLOCK: And well, that wasn't the experience of all users. We thank you, Mr. Bloom, for sharing your story with us.

SIEGEL: And finally, Amy Wilson of Grants Pass, Oregon took issue with our coverage of woodpeckers in California. She writes, bird watchers across the continent were thumping their steering wheels when they heard you pronounce that Woody the Woodpecker was an acorn woodpecker. He was a Pileated woodpecker more than twice the size of the feisty and pesky acorn woodpecker.

BLOCK: Well, I emailed our bird watching commentator, Julie Zickefoose. She's on a bird watching in Honduras, no less. And she confirmed that Woody was, in fact, modeled on the Pileated woodpecker right down to his laugh.

(Soundbite of Woody Woodpecker's laugh)

SIEGEL: So it looks like Amy Wilson and steering wheel thumping birders across the continent have the last laugh on us.

BLOCK: Send us your thoughts. Please visit npr.org and click Contact Us on the top of the page.

(Soundbite of Woody Woodpecker song)

Ms. GRACE STAFFORD LANTZ (Voice Actor): (as Woody Woodpecker) Ho, ho, ho, ho. Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha.

Unidentified People: (Singing) That's the Woody Woodpecker's song.

Ms. STAFFORD LANTZ: (as Woody Woodpecker) Ho, ho, ho, ho. He, he, he, he.

Unidentified People: (Singing) He's a-peckin' it all day long.

Ms. STAFFORD LANTZ: (as Woody Woodpecker) I peck a few holes in a tree to see.

BLOCK: This is NPR, National Public Radio.

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