eSchoolNews has an article about New York City schools considering a plan to have students stow their cell phones in a locker on their way into school.
New York City school officials are taking some heat for a proposed solution to the city’s controversial ban on student cell phones in schools. The proposal would have students leave their cell phones in special lockers outside their schools, and students likely would pay 25 or 50 cents to use the lockers each day.
Um, yeah. That’ll work. Not only take away the tools with which most teens communicate and learn, but charge them for the privilege of not having them. How about this…put a locker at the door for them to stow all their textbooks, let the cell phones inside and teach them how to use them to access all the info that’s in the books.
And Tom Hoffman (who is in the lead for most posts of 2007) writes about danah boyd’s predictions about social networking. In the snip Tom pulls out, danah says:
I believe that teenagers are the reason that mobile will happen sooner than we think…I think that mobile social network-driven systems will look very different than web-based ones but the fundamentals of â€œfriendsâ€ and â€œmessagesâ€ and some form of presence-conveying â€œprofileâ€ will be core to the system.
If you read the whole post, however, you’ll see that danah is steeling herself for some “blood baths” this year involving “hyper-visible examples of bad teen behavior.” This is part my worry too, that instead of looking at these incidents as a call to educate our students to use these tools more effectively, it will be fodder for schools to simply clamp down even more. Part of why I think this will get worse before it gets better.
But on the cell phone as social networking tool idea, Tom follows up with some interesting thinking about why this might be a good thing:
Having kidsâ€™ social networking move onto their phones would be good for schools. Students not using school computers and the school network for this stuff will cut liability concerns and filtering paranoia. Plus it just seems like a better fit for the role cellphones play in kidsâ€™ lives.
I wonder, however, if that wouldn’t then really necessitate schools having kids check their phones at the door.
Internet-capable mobile phones will be revolutionary, at least for those who can read and have the money to buy data bundles. The humble SMS will have an even greater effect on East Africa in 2007. Innovative uses of SMS will allow people to move money by text messages; to receive information on, say, maize prices, along with tips on planting; and to recieve medical advice, a particular benefit to those living with tuberculosis or AIDS.
It’s becoming clearer and clearer to me that the convergence of all of this will fit in our pockets. It has to. The culture is demanding mobile computing, and it’s being driven by our kids. And I think we need to start looking at ways to leverage that ability.
Where to start? Experiment. A first step might be to go to Mogopop and put together a lesson that can upload to an iPod. Not a phone, I know, but that ability will be here sooner than you think. It’s an easy way of getting your head around how it might play out. Any other ideas?