Thursday, June 07, 2007

Drop that Ipod, kid! Now!

What an incredibly ridiculous, stupid, inadequate, repulsive, expletive response to the evolution of learning and personal communication. As reported by Will Richardson New York city police and school administrators set up metal detectors at a middle school on the Upper West Side of New York City and confiscated “404 cellphones, 69 iPods, 23 other electronic devices, two knives and one imitation gun”.

"Out of 900 plus students, 404 cell phones were “confiscated” from the kids, some of whom were put to tears over the incident. About 70 iPods and a couple dozen other assorted devices were nabbed as well, all causing some parents to threaten lawsuits and the building principal to avoid questions at the end of the day."

What are we teaching these kids? Is it okay for us to have cell phones and Ipods but that they can't have them? Why not? Maybe we just don't trust them. This isn't about safety, it's about control. And fear that they will misuse the technology. Odd, the appropriate response might be to teach them how to use these tools, incorporate them into their learning, empower them! Instead there'll be a them against us ethos established, and the walls will go up - the walls the school builds to control the kids and the walls the kids will put up to block access to their facebook accounts where they will network and smolder about yet another time when they were made to feel disenfranchised, disempowered and just plain angry.

If this continued we won't have made us of the information revolution, and students will not trust institutions and suspect every attempt we make to integrate web2.0 tools and methodologies into our learning environment.

1 comment:

Weeza said...

That's an interesting perspective, and I like it. Rather than teach kids a simplistic "you may or may not use this" rule, you teach them to use it responsibly and when it's appropriate to turn it off. It would teach them a life skill with a bit of etiquette thrown in.