Thursday, 3 January 2008

How to get it so, so wrong !!

I was alerted this morning by my friend Steve Taylor to a BBC report from England's Children's Minister Kevin Brennan where he says '...electronic toys, music players and phones often appear in schools as the new term begins. Children often bring the fascinating gadgets they were bought as Christmas presents into class, but these can cause disruption and hamper learning. Teachers can and will confiscate such items if they see them being used in lessons.'

The idea that some of the powerful tools that children now have access to at home are essentially disruptive and hamper learning almost says it all. It is no wonder that our young people feel that they 'dumb down' to go to school and that many of them feel that the tools that they have at their disposal do not actually meet their needs.

As part of the report the General secretary of teaching union the NASUWT Chris Keates said: "Every year some youngsters arrive back at school with MP3 players, mobile phones and electronic games. This can be a real headache for teachers when they are trying to get everyone settled down to start learning. Teachers would be grateful if pupils just brought a pen."

So as we move further and further into a technological age one of the 'influences' on educational policy sees the major tool for learning as a pen.

The report goes on '... Some schools have a "no gadget" policy where all non-educational equipment is banned ' . So who says what and what isn't educational then ? And who defines 'gadget'?

You can read Ewan's take on the report here.

I feel so cross about the whole thing. We need a 21st Century education for our young people !!

PS ( just as an aside)
I have been alerted to the fact that the Minister for English Education who wants the gadgets kept out of English schools is in fact the MP for Cardiff ... isn't that in Wales?


A Presentation at the BETT Conference and Exhibition, January 9th by Mike Sharples continues the debate.

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At 03 January 2008 16:44 , Blogger Mr Harrington said...

It is almost enough to make you throw your hands up in the air!!! I guess also very like the affect that the industrial revolution had in its time - we do things one way and will not even consider this strange and dangerous new development - NASUWT have really gone off at the Deep End without even thinking about how to harness the tech that our 21st Century pupils ( and some teachers) can see the benefits of!!!! Is there any hope?
Paul Harrington

At 03 January 2008 16:45 , Blogger Mr Harrington said...

Also - check out Lee Davis's post
Paul Harrington


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