Having ADHD I am interested in so many topics and two which are close to my heart are education and technology.
I am not an Educator and my children finished school many years ago but I have become increasingly fascinated by educational methods and the use of technology in schools.
Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn have fuelled this passion by enabling me to "eavesdrop" on group discussions and learn from experts worldwide who freely share their knowledge. For me this is true education. Sharing knowledge and encouraging our youth to broaden their minds and not be limited by school curriculums is what we should be aiming for.
One of the recent topics I eavesdropped on was the debate about using cell phones in the classroom.
My initial narrow minded reaction was "No way! Any educator who is for this ridiculous idea needs their head read."
- Distractions especially for the ADDers
- Mxit / texting / Whatsapp / Facebook etc
- Cyber bullying
- Peer pressure for those who have cellphones vs those whose parents don't think children should have them and/or bring them to school or perhaps cannot afford to provide cellphones for their offspring.
- What about the inevitable "mine is better than yours" peer pressure that can lead further polarisation between the haves and have-nots.
- ADDers are notorious at losing their belongings and some parents are understandably reluctant to allow such expensive electronic items to be taken to school.
So why would educators even contemplate using them as a teaching tool?
You may like to read two articles :
- Cellphones are a Distraction by Tom Whitby
- In the Digital Age, Welcoming Cell Phones in the Class by Mindshift
Their arguments have certainly made me think and I have realised that if you can't stop the technology train racing towards you, you need to harness the benefits and make the best use of them.
I think it is fantastic that there is this growing number of educators who are embracing technology and using it to enhance the teaching process.
However, I am well aware that for the vast majority of schools in South Africa technology (and even electricity) is a pipe dream and many educators themselves are not computer literate.
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