I see a call for the banning of mobile technology in the classroom is popping up again:
Pupils could be banned from taking mobile phones and iPads into class under a major government crackdown on disruptive behaviour at school.
More than 90 per cent of teenagers have mobile phones, but a recent study by the London School of Economics claimed schools where they were banned saw test scores rise by an average of 6 per cent. There is currently no government policy about mobile phone use in England, as schools have to set restrictions themselves.
There is no doubt that in the classroom or ones personal life , mobiles can be a distraction. But this could easily be a teaching opportunity. We are all just scraping the surface of using these wee computers. Addressing attention, the social use of mobiles and the like could be an educational experience.
I am constantly being amazed at the power in my pocket. Last week I took a walk along the Kelvin to Milngavie. As I wandered along the phone records my track, analysed my speed, distance ect. I could grab notes, and take photos of interesting things.
If I’d needed to I could have made field recordings and I could have sent all this to a variety of places online for further manipulation. I’ve got a pile of data that can be analysed and shared.
Compared to only a few years ago this, and many other mobile applications, feel miraculous. The featured image photo, of a hoverfly (I think), is to me wonderful. Not because it is a great picture but because I can catch this amount of detail without being a photographer with the phone from my pocket.
Even this small subset of a mobiles features should surely make it worth the effort of how to minimise any negative effects of mobiles and their notifications. It is early days to be talking about bans.