Behind the Bike Sheds

Learning, Subjects, Teaching, Whole School 8 Comments »

There are few people who wish to exist in isolation from other people.

Most children have great facility in finding friends. Keeping them can be harder. It is necessary to stay part of the in-crowd of one’s peers. This might involve knowing when to meet behind the bike shed. Or perhaps just hoping to bump into or find one’s friends at break.

The majority of children now have a better way of managing the conversations that maintain and develop friendship. The problem is that it may not be possible for them to use these techniques in school.  Some schools ban pupils from bringing their mobile phone to school. Others are more enlightened and just rule that hearing or seeing a phone in class will result in its confiscation.

How many adults would be prepared to be separated from their mobile phone for the whole working day. Adults will certainly agree to turn off phones for periods, in meetings or when undertaking specific tasks. But this happens with their agreement and is the exception, not the norm.

There are some changes in society that schools have no option but to adapt to. This is one of them. The mobile phone and its derivatives are becoming a key part of one’s connection to the world.

And for schools that work out how to manage this phenomenon opportunities open. Consider the educational advantages when children have a communications device, connected to the Internet, with voice, text and image input devices.

What strategies are needed begin to incorporate this into teaching and learning?

What paradigm shift is needed?


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