IT was recently announced that students in 10,000 schools would be allowed to bring certain mobile devices to class beginning next year. The statement was regrettably vague. We do not know exactly which mobile devices were being referred to. Thankfully, mobile phones were clearly excluded, as the education minister felt that would be a distraction in class. There was also mention of a time limit on the usage of devices and that guidelines were currently being drafted on this issue.
The current policy in government schools prohibits students from bringing electronic devices to schools.
However, there are many reasons why the introduction of electronic devices, such as iPads, tablets and other mobile devices, may be a good thing. They may make the classroom experience more interactive, which can in turn make the learning experience more fun and enjoyable for students.
They are great communication tools, and improve speed and access to information. Moreover, teachers and students can email each other assignments and homework. Teachers can also take attendance on their iPads, hence reducing theirs and the school’s carbon footprint in an ecologically sustainable manner.
There is an argument for more sharing of resources among students, teachers and peer groups. Electronic devices make research on the Internet fast, easy and accessible.
Everything is simplified; it takes the mere tap of a finger. It is the era of instant gratification.
But, while all this may be true, do we really want to allow kids to bring mobile devices to school every day? This is an issue that has divided academicians, and while there is no one right view, here are some reasons why we need to think carefully before allowing mobile devices into classrooms:
A TIME limit on usage. I think this is one of the most crucial factors. How much time is going to be spent in the classroom with electronic mobile devices? Who will decide? Will it be standardised across schools? Who will draw out the lesson plans? Will they be used in a manner that complements
The decision to allow students to bring mobile devices to school should be thoroughly examined.