We draw our inspiration from the universe. Or other bloggers. And so a few weeks ago I was compelled by the debate spotlighted over on Scott McLeod’s Dangerously Irrelevant about how to keep kids from using their cell phones in school. And I wondered how much energy school districts really want to put into that debate.
And then I thought about how Plato or Socrates or Antisthenes or one of those old ancient smart guys tried in earnest to convince the world that writing was somehow inefficient use of one’s intellect. It seems like educators have a habit of missing important trends.
So I wrote my own post about the topic. And in making the case that my IPhone is smarter than your kid’s teacher... I was really suggesting that maybe we should be handing out cellphones instead of banning them.
I don’t mean to pitch for Apple but my IPhone is a pretty powerful device. It’s like a laptop, but more portable, adaptable, affordable; even more durable. Like Apple’s answer to the Swiss army knife, it offers, among other things, too many learning tools to ignore:
• A GPS device
• Up-to-date maps and street level photographs taken around the world
• Complete, unfiltered internet access for research
• Thousands of Aps, like the ones for Twitter and Facebook and other social networking functions
• A link to your Kindle and countless books and periodicals
• Access to You Tube and Podcasts
• Instant updates on the stock market and the weather
• (Almost) unlimited music through ITunes
• The ability to translate words and phrases from any language including ASL
• A calculator
Plus its a phone which obviously connect users via text and telephone with people anywhere in the world.
And I guess that is what the objection is: Board members are afraid that kids will be texting their friends all day. Which of course they will-- in classes that are not engaging or interesting or relevant.
So should we ban IPhones or harness them to ignite our children’s creative energy and natural passion to learn about things that matter?
Let’s ask Plato. Or then again, maybe not. Educators have that nasty habit of missing the most important trends.
Kevin W. Riley
El Milagro Weblog
The opinions expressed in LeaderTalk are strictly those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Editorial Projects in Education, or any of its publications.