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Schools banning mobile devices(Alex)
Mobile devices have been shown to be extremely beneficial to students in learning environments. Technology has fundamentally changed the way students learn, and it’s going to continue to do so. The problem is, there’s a huge gap between what students are seeing as a useful way to learn and what teachers are seeing as a grave threat to the way they’ve always done things.
I only have to spend about 20 minutes watching my elementary school-age nephews interact with their devices to see that their brains are wired differently than ours. When I was their age, and wanted to learn how to do something new, I would look it up in a book, and sometimes it would take me a long time, because following written instructions can be complicated. And even then, I’d only be shown one way of doing things.
When my nephews need to learn something new (such as building a robot for the science event, which my 12 year old nephew has done), they go to You-tube. They see a variety of videos, all with different approaches. They can see close up exactly how something works, and then can replicate it themselves, incorporating the many ideas they have exposure to into building something even better. Their world is so much larger than ours was, and in that larger world there are infinite possibilities.
Taking away their ability to seek out and learn from that big world of things is dangerous. Because of technology, my nephews are inherently curious. When my younger nephew was interested in dinosaurs a few years ago, he was able to go online and learn everything possible about them – from Wikipedia to interactive sites, he was able to develop a bit of expertise about them. He was 7 years old at the time, and he knew more about dinosaurs than I’ve learned in 30 years. That’s remarkable.
The disadvantage of mobile devices to a classroom is a distraction. But it’s up to teachers to figure out how they are going to manage that distraction, by teaching…

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