February 17, 2013 by Brad Currie
Why are we allowing our students to use pencils in the classroom setting? Based on a Google search that I conducted recently which you can see below, I was amazed at the number of pencil stabbing incidents that take place on a yearly basis. Don’t get me wrong, pencils are great and they do wonders for a student’s educational experience. Let’s be real though, when is the last time you heard someone saying they should not be allowed in school?
Yet many schools are still reluctant to infuse social media, mobile learning devices, and Web 2.0 tools as a way to engage learners because of the issues that could arise. How many times do you encounter a conversation amongst adults about how evil social media and cell phones are? On a daily basis school districts are drafting policies pertaining to the acceptable use of the internet, social media, and technology. Why not pencils as well? Based on my findings they seem just as dangerous as educational technology.
The point that I am trying to make is that it is no longer acceptable for school districts to prohibit mobile learning devices and social media in the school setting. I understand that these tools can be used inappropriately, but so can pencils and toilet paper. Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube are already being utilized by many school’s in so many positive ways. Cellphones, Smartphones, iPod Touch’s, iPads, and eReaders are being leveraged throughout the world to provide relevant learning experiences for students. As long as school stakeholders collectively work together to ensure educational technology is being utilized safely there is no reason why it shouldn’t be commonplace just like a pencil.