• 14 JUN 10
    • 0

    #1268: Cellphones could become compulsory classroom tools in New Zealand

    The following news article from ‘enlightened’ New Zealand is an excellent example of what happens when government ministers blindly take the advice of a so called independent expert who turns out to be a paid telecommunications consultant. This same consultant has likened cell phone headaches to be no more dangerous than an ice cream headache and has long taken the the telco industry line on precautionary approaches to cell phone use. Below is one example….

    Also note Professor Noeline Wright’s mention of “Swiss Army communication knives”.

    God help the unfortunate school children of New Zealand with such people in charge.

    Don

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    Link: http://nz.news.yahoo.com/a/-/mp/7390555/cellphones-could-become-compulsory
    -classroom-tools/

    While many schools ban cellphone use because of the threat of bullying, an Education Ministry pilot programme is under way in Auckland where phones are compulsory and used as classroom tools.

    E-learning unit manager Howard Baldwin said the ministry would like to see widespread use of the phones but would leave it up to schools to make their own decision.

    “We will move away from the pen and paper world,” he told the Sunday Star Times.

    Professor Noeline Wright, of Waikato University, who is assessing the cellphone pilot programme at Howick College, said schools needed to be extremely vigilant to prevent bullying, theft, and inappropriate texting.

    However, she encouraged the use of digital devices, “or Swiss Army communication knives”, to prevent schools becoming “islands” of pen and paper use.

    “It seems draconian to keep tapping into 20th century technology if 21st century technology seems to work with these kids,” she said.

    However, an Auckland mother who lost her son to text bullying is appalled that education experts want to see cellphones used for learning.

    Daniel Gillies, 16, died after falling from a cliff in 2003, shortly after being subjected to a barrage of hateful texts about his facial disfigurement.

    His mother, Helen Algar, said she wanted to see students embrace technology, but some schools had not yet managed to stamp out text bullying.
    “My personal preference would be that we don’t rely on this technology until we learn from our experiences,” she said.

    While many schools ban cellphone use because of the threat of bullying, an Education Ministry pilot programme is under way in Auckland where phones are compulsory and used as classroom tools.

    E-learning unit manager Howard Baldwin said the ministry would like to see widespread use of the phones but would leave it up to schools to make their own decision.

    “We will move away from the pen and paper world,” he told the Sunday Star Times.

    Professor Noeline Wright, of Waikato University, who is assessing the cellphone pilot programme at Howick College, said schools needed to be extremely vigilant to prevent bullying, theft, and inappropriate texting.

    However, she encouraged the use of digital devices, “or Swiss Army communication knives”, to prevent schools becoming “islands” of pen and paper use.

    “It seems draconian to keep tapping into 20th century technology if 21st century technology seems to work with these kids,” she said.

    However, an Auckland mother who lost her son to text bullying is appalled that education experts want to see cellphones used for learning.

    Daniel Gillies, 16, died after falling from a cliff in 2003, shortly after being subjected to a barrage of hateful texts about his facial disfigurement.

    His mother, Helen Algar, said she wanted to see students embrace technology, but some schools had not yet managed to stamp out text bullying.
    “My personal preference would be that we don’t rely on this technology until we learn from our experiences,” she said.

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