Yesterday it was reported across the UK media, that Sir Michael Wilshaw, Chief Inspector of Schools at Ofsted is about to launch new plans in the battle to crackdown on classroom discipline. The key headline surrounds the banning of mobile phones in classrooms. Of course, I can see the arguments for banning, but none of these are insurmountable. However, we are more likely to create less prepared citizens for a rapidly changing and evolving global society if this learning tool is removed from the classroom.
Whether he was misquoted or not, I was astounded to see that cyber bullying was cited as one reason why they shouldn’t be used in schools. Firstly, does cyber bullying only take place in schools? Secondly, does it only take place on mobile phones? It would be like banning a plate because you might get food poisoning from it. A mobile phone, just like a plate, is a tool or vehicle and effective education can enable us to use both safely and securely.
Cyber bullying, just like ordinary bullying, is always going to be a facet of our society whether we like it or not. We need to be pragmatic about approaching this terrible behaviour and help support our teachers who can help support their students. There are so many wonderful resources, facilitators and techniques available, that the crime is not a handset in the classroom, it is the inability of schools to proactively engage in minimizing the possibility of cyber bullying. If you’re interested in resources on cyber bullying two great places to start are here:
Cyber bullying apart, if there was to be a blanket ban on mobile phones in schools across the country, then the amazing learning that is currently taking place in some of our more innovative forward thinking schools would be stopped. But don’t take my word for it, have a look at these links instead:
- Using Twitter In The Classroom
- 3 Ways Educators Are Embracing Social Technology
- Lift Cell Phone Ban
- Making The Case Of Cell Phones And Schools
- Mobile Phones ‘Boost School Standards’
This work, unless otherwise expressly stated, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.