Monday, 18 May 2015

The Internet In Your Pocket

Image courtesy of The Huffington Post

For Y7 to Y11, phones must be switched off and locked in lockers. If they are seen, they are confiscated, if they are heard they are confiscated with an additional detention. Repeated offenders have their items confiscated for longer periods of time. Sixth Form can use their phones for research purposes, within the Sixth Form block. These are our schools' rules and they work reasonably well.

However, there is always very little noise at 3.30pm each day as students are leaving. The reason being that at this point, students can reclaim their phones, switch them on and check their social media networks. Students frequently bump into one another, or walls, as they are singularly focused on their phones. One student got clipped by a bus a few years ago as she had music on, checking her phone.

Twitter became polarized (for a change!) this weekend as a report was launched highlighting some research which indicated: "phone-free schools performed better in GCSE exams, especially those in bottom 60% of KS2 tests." (although only marginally when you read the actual stats behind headlines, see <here>) as well as David Didau's visit to Michaela School: "If a teacher sees or hears a phone at Michaela it’s confiscated until the following term. It doesn’t matter whether the phone accidentally slipped out of a pocket, and it doesn’t matter whether the parent is going into hospital and really really needs to ring their child. There are no excuses." (see <here>)

Advocates of BYOD and the use of mobile phones in the classroom chipped in with their dismay of this seemingly neo-traditional way of thinking. This is debate best left to others for the time being...

However it directly linked to the CP (Citizenship and PHSE) lesson I am planning for Y10 this week inspired by the idea of internet addiction. I think this video is a good start point about technology, with a nod to history and philosophy, but wit a clear demonstration of the potential dangers with some interesting stats:

Inner Drive recently published "6 Reasons to Put Your Phone Away" (see <here>) with some links to research about the dangers of using phones. The putting up of these posters on the form notice boards for my Y10 students will hopefully get them thinking...

I always think that maybe I need a Digital Sabbath as much as some of the students... the fact that I think I would struggle to do it is maybe the reason to try. It is easily to get addicted to the internet when it is in your pocket, and when you get non-stop notifications. Twitter, Facebook, emails... do we all need to switch off a little more?

Anyway, here is the lesson...

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