Oi, teacher, leave them iPods alone!": "NASUWT asks children to leave the future at home

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Image: A diamond encrusted iPod – precisely the kind of thing children won’t be disrupting classrooms with this year… 

Last year at Reboot the eminence that is Stowe Boyd was talking about flow states – being continuously plugged in to a network – via texts, Twitters, IM and sundry connectedness – related to the continuous partial attention thing . He described how the learning establishment would resist this trend preferring to protect traditional methods of working and learning.

A post by Edu Blogger Euan McIntosh reminds me of this as he describes the NASUWT, a UK teaching union, and its edict to parents to make their children keep their gadgets at home.

Ewan’s suggestion of alternative approach is typically sane of the man:

Instead [of banning or confiscating gadgets] get the students to show the functionalities of their tools and how they can be abused [used?]. Importantly, get them to show how they can be used to make learning faster, more fun or more accessible. The teachers, the Unions and the Ministers may have a few things to learn themselves.

All sorts of organisations (the NUJ and the CIPR spring to my mind) seem to exhibit this kind of Knut-ism. Worse than Knut‘s foolish courtiers, they don’t seem to even realise that it’s a tide they’re trying to turn back.

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4 comments

  1. ourman

    That’s all very smart but what happens when they are stolen or when the teacher needs to teach something unrelated to technology?

  2. Adam

    On the “unrelated to technology” front, surely it’s a fallacy that technology is only relevant to education when you’re teaching about technology?

    All of these tools could be of use in multiple subjects.

    Theft, and bullying-related theft in particular, is a different issue, but just banning the tools seems to be a head-in-the-sand approach.

  3. Antony Mayfield

    Head in the sand as the tide comes in – argh!

    Have a look at Edu Blogs’ examples of technology being used in all aspects of education: from Flickr photos for Art History and creative writing to virtual worlds for visualising how databases work – it’s thrilling to see the innovation in education at all levels and across all disciplines at the moment.

  4. Ewan McIntosh

    As the points have already been made, I’ll not hesitate to repeat them: technology is, in the hands of a good teacher, rarely taught or talked about, merely used to make possible what was not possible before or to enhance what was slow or boring. It can also be used to make processes easier so that deeper learning rather than learning by doing processes can take place.

    I know that most of my school day was taken up by process rather than thought (do, rather than think), and see technology as the liberator here. Not, though, unless young people can bring in and share what they have in their pockets because the State will never have enough resources or training to supply and concentrate on one limited suite of technology that suits it and the traditionalists holding the State up.

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