There has been a lot of talk about the Ontario Teacher Union policy on cellphones for students in the classroom (shared by Megan Pratt). Although the word “ban” has been used, it does seem to be about teacher discretion and I know a lot of teachers in Ontario (and many more to come) that are doing some really great things with student-owned devices in the classroom, and will continue to do so.
A couple of things though…
In the article, the following statement really stuck out to me:
But the union’s move has thrust under the spotlight the problem of trying to teach kids who may be distracted.
What if you changed one word in that sentence? Let’s try it.
But the union’s move has thrust under the spotlight the problem of trying to teach kids who may be bored.
What if that is the reality? With all of the amazing things that surround us in the world, and the way kids are engaged outside of the classroom, maybe they are bored. How many of the adults reading this would be excited by a textbook? How many would even consider a textbook the best way to learn?
Are some kids distracted no matter what you do? Absolutely. But so are a lot of adults. I recently did a workshop in Australia and remember a group that sat off in the corner, talked the whole time while I was presenting, or spent their time checking their email. Maybe it was me? That being said, I just get frustrated when we always say “kids” or “students” when a lot of adults exhibit the same behaviour that we think we have to remedy with our youth. Have you seen “distracted” behaviour during a staff meeting? Workshop? I honestly have no problem with someone on a device, just like I have no problem when someone is writing in a notebook.
The other thing that I wonder is that if we respect student voice so much, were any students talked to when this decision was made? Any idea on this?
Read the whole article…do some of the statements bother you or is it just me?