The 21st Show

Screens in Schools; Southern Illinois Prohibition Armies; CSA Market Change

A second-grader works on an iPad.

A second-grader works on an iPad. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

In this special encore episode, we take you back to a conversation on tech in the classroom: should devices like Chromebooks and iPads be limited or actively used? Plus, when Prohibition became official in 1920, advocates wanted to make sure it was enforced. But that also had a darker side, including anti-immigrant violence supported by the KKK. Also, it’s been a tough few years for farmers who sell produce through CSAs, in part due to more competition from big grocery stores and others cashing into the local food market. We look at how farmers are adapting and what policymakers can do to help.

Today tens of millions of students use connected devices like Chromebooks or iPads and millions more use online apps. In fact, more than 30 million K-12 students use web apps like Google Docs or Gmail, according to the New York Times.

So how do educators make sure that they serve their purpose inside the classroom? We heard from two educators who approach this issue in very different ways: Adam Geisin is an instructional tech coach and longtime high school English teacher at Triad Community Unit 2 in Troy. He helps train district teachers on how to use technology in the classrooms. Carol Triggiano is a teacher at the Waldorf School in Chicago. 

Ellen Wartella was also with us. She’s the professor and chair of Northwestern University’s Department of Communication and she directs their center for Media and Human Development. Her research focuses on the effects of media and technology on kids.


What comes to mind when you think about Prohibition? Maybe you think about jazz, speakeasies, or even gangsters like Al Capone?

Well, there was a lot more to it than that, including anti-immigrant violence in many American cities and towns. In many cases, it was led by the KKK, which actually grew in numbers during Prohibition. One particularly dark chapter in this history took place in Williamson County, just east of Carbondale. And what happened there - and how the public pushed back - can tell us a lot about today’s political climate.

Lisa McGirr first wrote about this in an opinion piece for the New York Times. She’s a professor of history at Harvard University, and author of The War On Alcohol: Prohibition And The Rise Of The American State.


CSAs (community supported agriculture) allow consumers to buy produce directly from small farmers. But times are actually pretty hard for CSA farmers. The market has gotten a lot tougher in the past few years, and it's led CSA farmers to try and adapt in order to stay competitive.

Shea Belahi is one of these farmers. She’s part owner and farm manager of Blue Moon Farm in Urbana. Simon Huntley is founder and CEO of Harvie, a company that helps small farms with marketing and technology. And Guillermo Payet is founder and president of Local Harvest, a database for CSAs and farmers markets.

Story source: WILL