The thing that bothers me most when I see legislators, either national or state or local, putting up bills that are supposed to “protect” kids or make schools safer, is that none of them have a clue as to the technology that they are legislating. Case in point, this new proposal from the state house in Harrisburg, Pa.
Section 1317.1 Posession of [Telephone Pagers] Electronic Devices Prohibited.–(a) The possession by students of telephone paging devices, commonly referred to as beepers, cellular telephones and portable electronic devices that record or play audio or video material shall be prohibited on school grounds, at school sponsored activities, and on buses or other vehicles provided by the school district.
God forbid we manage to think about the phone as a learning device. I guarantee you that none of the sponsors of the bill have ever typed “define insipid” (or any other word, for that matter) into a text message on their phone and sent it to 46645? (Try it sometime.) I know I mention this a lot in my presentations, but I’m wondering why cell phones aren’t a part of my kids’ curriculum between now and the time they graduate from high school. I’m wondering why teachers aren’t picking up their cell phones and finding answers to the questions they’re asking, modeling the technology for their students. Why they aren’t talking about ethical and effective use instead of making sure kids check them at the door.
I mean seriously. Do we really think that in ten years’ time that my kids aren’t going to be using their phones in all kinds of ways that we haven’t even imagined yet?
Ah, what the heck. Maybe it’s better the kids just figure it out for themselves…
(Thanks to Jim Gates for the link.)