in Education

The threat of mobile technology

A school in Quebec has banned the use of all personal electronic devices after a video of a teacher shouting at students was posted on YouTube. This is going to happen more and more as the culture of teenagers, who are growing up ‘digitally connected’ clashes with the traditional, 20th-century approaches of educational institutions.

Vicki Davis has an interesting post on this over at the Cool Cat Teacher Blog, entitled Spies Like Us in which she suggests the following methods of dealing with the growing number of situations like this occurring in western education systems:

  1. Update acceptable use
  2. Understand that new school hours are 24/7
  3. Understand the importance of technology education including ethics
  4. Understand that blocking doesn’t protect your school from this issue
  5. Understand that information does not travel in straight lines

Vicki ends her post with the following:

Values and ethics are vital. You cannot control whether students CAN do these things. They can.

You CAN control what you teach students! Discuss and teach ethics as a weekly practice. You should have a forum (usually technology class) where you can talk about topics as they emerge or you will constantly be playing catch up. You should protect yourself and your teachers with policies that consider any media filmed at school (And remember that many accommodations REQUIRE you to allow special needs students the ability to record anyway.)

Schools who ignore technology and ignore instilling values in their students could be reaping the negative consequences for those walking their halls right now for the next 100 years.

Vicki teaches in a school that uses the Socratic method, meaning a lot of discussion and questioning. She has taken the step of recording all her classes and posting these on the Internet, putting her in editorial control. A bold step, but the type of one which will increasingly have to be taken by educational institutions.

  • http://coolcatteacher.blogspot.com Vicki Davis

    Thank you for bringing attention to this very important issue. I became increasingly convinced of its emerging importance as I began researching the article and became very concerned as I got ready to post the article that neither I nor others in the blogosphere are really taking this issue seriously. We have work to do. I hope you'll join us at the wiki to work on updating our acceptable use policies.