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"Get off Facebook and get a life"
1.       peacetrain
1905 posts
 23 Feb 2009 Mon 07:53 am

Having written about my plans for tomorrow on another thread, I have been up most of the night, being sick .  In between trips to the loo I´ve been browsing the news and came across this article:



"Social networking sites should allow us to embellish our social lives, but what we find is very different. The tail is wagging the dog. These are not tools that enhance, they are tools that displace."


I think there is some truth in this.  I began to think about the road down which education seems to be travelling here in the UK.  In the Education Authority that I work, all schools now have a "learning platform" and it´s possible other authorities are doing the same thing.  Each class in my school (ages 3 - 11 years) has it´s own section on the website and children and parents can log in.  From there they can catch up on class news and complete homework.  Children can also leave messages for each other.  I wonder if this will discourage children to get out into the fresh air and have a more physical than mental workout.  Perhaps it will encourage some parents (those that don´t usually) to take an interest in their children´s school life.  The present Government here in the UK also thinks all households should have internet facilities. 


Another initiative in this Education Authority (probably not the only one) has been for schools to bid (we were one of 3 successful primary schools) for an ICT initiative.  Each Year 5 (the year in which a child attains the age of 1 child has been give their own personal laptop (I think they are notebooks) and they can use them in school and at home.  They have strict controls built in to them, so that inappropriate net matter cannot be accessed via them.  They are preloaded with software needed for education purposes so that children who don´t have internet access at home can still get work done.  If the children don´t take care of the equipment they aren´t allowed to take it home.  I think the idea is to keep the laptop for the rest of their school life including high school.


Yet another initiative . . . all Year 4 children (and staff ) have been issued with their own personal trumpet for a full term.  They take them home to practise with and Tuesday and Thursday afternoons in school it is not a haven of peace and quiet!    Anyway, that´s a whole other story!!


I just wondered what members thought about the role of ICT in education and how much it should permeate school life.  In our primary school we have an ICT suite of 16 PC´s and a mobile bank of around 20 laptops.  All classes are wireless enabled and have Smartboards or Promethean boards as a teaching aid, as an alternative to a white board.  Each class has around 4 PCs too.  In the Ofsted inspection , conducted in January, ICT was regarded as a strength of our school.  As a teacher, I find many aspects of ICT extremely useful, but I wonder how much it should influence the education arena.  Of course, the air is often blue when a teacher has planned a lesson and the equipment fails!! Grrrrrr!!


Perhaps any Turkish teachers here could share the extent of ICT in education in Turkey.  The children in my school love this medium for learning and it does motivate them. 


I think I may have sidetracked from the original topic but there is a connection in some ways.  Are we encoraging our children to live a life in front of a machine instead of getting out there.  I guess it´s a question of balance.  There has to be a broad, balanced curriculum in schools and I guess that should be true of private life . . . broad and balanced interests.


I´ve got to go now (really!!).

Edited (2/23/2009) by peacetrain [gotta go!!!]

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