From the classroom, to the Universe

Thoughts About The Use of Gadgets in School.

Since the 21st century Era, people has become attached to electronic devices.  Even a third world country like the Philippines has welcomed and embraced the digital culture. In fact electronic devices tops on the list of imported goods in the Philippines.  Consequently,  a typical student enjoys one or two gadgets within the reach of his or her pocket.  But the thing is, most schools prohibit bringing electronic devices – which I think  needs a revamp.

Even if bringing these inside the campus is explicitly stipulated in the students’ handbook, they still would bring these in school whether for communication for their parents (which ironically that parents themselves give to their kids knowing it is a prohibited device)  or simply for their personal entertainment. In its simplest sense – every student who has one (hidden or in plain sight)  is an offender, well the parents of course is an accessory to the offense.

These devices a.k.a “gadgets” could be a great tool in learning. It could simply replace a simple dictionary, calculator, periodic table of elements , etc. It also can be used in Physics when analyzing motion of objects, conversion of units, table of physical constants, perhaps recording of one’s voice in an English class or music class, listening to audio books,  something to be used in copying lectures and notes then sharing it with the rest via social networking sites. There are hundreds of e-books around while some schools has actually substituted tablets for their textbooks.

In my opinion, the rule itself against these gadget is the reason they have a violation and we as an educational institution actually miss the opportunity to give an important, very important lesson to our students. Clearly, we have not  actually teach them how to responsibly use their gadget or to let them enjoy these things without forgetting etiquette that one must realize in owning one. Sure there are oceans of reasons why we do not allow them (like cheating etc.) to but  that is simply because we had not taught when or how to use it appropriately. If our education is really a preparation for the real world, what is stopping us from letting them use those things responsibly?

While some school that has adapted in this era in dealing with this issue  (you might want to check PSHS’  “fair use policy” ) , we just simply say “NO” to it.  Time has changed, it might also mean that some rules,  rules that may not seem anymore logical may not apply and therefore should change.

DISCLAIMER: Thoughts pointed out by the author does not necessarily reflect the views of its employer

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2 responses

  1. The ideal would be to have tablets, as mentioned, that have texting and instant messaging and social networks blocked. That’s the real distraction. When I’ve taught, I find students become more interested in their text messages than the lesson at hand. Few lessons can compete with campus gossip.

    It would help if there was both some way to teach etiquette and to have parents assist in teaching learning-etiquette.

    August 2, 2012 at 4:15 am

    • “It would help if there was both some way to teach etiquette and to have parents assist in teaching learning-etiquette. ”

      Ditto.

      And I believe that the above cannot be achieved by us asking them not to bring those stuff.

      August 2, 2012 at 8:40 am

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