School’s In!11 October 2009
In my recent piece on BackNoise and related matters, I explored some personal and professional dilemmas relating to public speaking and (probably) coined the phrase Prez 2.0. This is the possible phenomenon whereby the simultaneous social-media backchat (e.g. Texts, MSN, Skype, Twitter and recently, BackNoise) becomes integral to the speech, making in effect an audience-created presentation.
Support for this more avant-garde approach to any situation where the many gather to be addressed by the few comes from an unexpected quarter in today’s Observer .
Mick Brookes, general secretary of the National Association of Head Teachers says: “Schools should be harnessing the fantastic educational opportunity children carry round in their pockets, instead of banning the phones with their cameras, voice recorders and internet access.”
Picture the scene: poor dress sense, recent bad haircut and spinach-on-the-teeth episodes captured and ridiculed, leaving a little time for last night’s escapades and the usual brief this-subject-is-boring exchange… all with the Heads’ blessing!
But you’d be wrong.
In schools where children were provided with phone and internet access to use in lessons, teachers have reported very little misuse if the evidence of Learning2Go is anything to go by. They have run a scheme for the last five years in 18 primary and secondary schools in Wolverhampton.
But, apart from fact-checking (“if children want the date of the Battle of Hastings, they will Google it”) what exactly have the Black Country boys and girls been up to with their high-quality smart-phones? They have, in fact, been using them in lessons and for homework and see them as a tool for learning!
How often have you been to a conference and behaved like the imaginary naughty kids – smirking, bitching, texting and dissin’ the corporates? The Wolverhampton wonderers set us a good example – if only we knew what it was.
The questions we need to answer are: How 2.0 is Wolves? Do they learn through self-generated content? And what does their experience tell us about the future of Prez 2.0? Of Conf 2.0? Even of Class 2.0?
Face(book) up to the facts – the Skype’s the limit. Watch this (My)space.