Monday, 19 November 2012

Tight policies help to fight the establishment.

I'm a little annoyed at discovering that my school will go to BYOD type policy in 2013. The death of illegal mobile phones in the learning environment breaks another key layer to the student/teacher discipline divide. The 'no mobile phone' policy generated some great moments in my classroom. Hearing a phone buzz with a message or a rogue ringtone created an excellent classroom test of honesty. It also created some great laughs when awkwardly, students had to take ownership of the transgression. Policies such as these guard against theft and the difficulty of students misplacing or losing their devices and putting the school community right into the thick of supporting the search for said device. It makes sense that these devices are are left in lockers and bags - it just does.

It also makes sense because I've known for some time that smart phone devices offer excellent augmentation to the kit of tools learners can provide themselves. Short term auditory recall - audio record the class introduction. Generated some excellent 'chalk & talk' whiteboard action - quick, take a photo. Running an extra help session or lunchtime activity - put it into your organiser. Using some flip vids tagged up with QR codes pasted on the walls - scan and watch whilst looking at your work. Smart devices help create strategies for individuals.

But those in control are about to take the steam out of some key learning moments. There's nothing better than having something to stand up for. An opinion or approach that can appear innovative and against the established norm. I've been a mobile phone rebel for a while now and am mourning that my justifiable rage against the establishment is about to become normalised. My 'coolness' is about to be critically undermined. My pleas for independent thought and an innovative approach that show a determined governance of your own destiny in a digital world left behind by the institutions that seek to control teenage populations is being ripped out from underneath me. What cause can I fight for now? What will I stand for when I appear to be just another cog in the system that seeks to make conformists of us all?

I'm shattered!

But I'll get over it. Bring on the chaos and let's make it work BIG!


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