Watches and Smartphones


My reading this morning featured a number of stories like this “Apple retail chief Ahrendts thinks covert Apple Watch use in the classroom is a good idea“.

I see a couple of sides to this.  First of all, if the facts in the report that this logic is used to sell a product, it’s as despicable as can be.  If this is a good product, it should be marketed on the value that it provides, not as a product to encourage cheating or other less than honourable uses.  You’ll notice that Android watches weren’t included in the stories.  <grin>

On that level, there’s no excuse.  As noted in many places, Apple owes so much of its popularity to education.  This really serves as a disservice.

On the other side …

Are people really that stupid to believe this?

It’s the same argument that we’ve heard for years about computers in the classroom, then smartphones in the classroom.  I wonder if Samuel Morse went through the same slings and arrows when he developed his code.  After all, you could conceivably tap, tap, tap on a desk while writing a test and have a friend pick up on your answers.  Or cough, cough, cough appropriately.  Or drop a pencil or paper.  Or click a pen.

Let’s give the teaching profession a little credit for understanding their trade.  If you picture the scenarios in the article, it’s of the traditional vision of a teacher/professor standing at the front of the room rambling on about something with no regard for what’s happening or caring about learning.  Give me a break.

Today’s contemporary teacher is up and around the room, concerned with the learning more than the traditional lecture.  The teacher knows her/his students abilities and skills long before sitting down to any test and can usually estimate +/- 5% what each student will achieve on the test.  That is, if they give tests – period.  Modern classrooms feature collaboration, projects, inquiry, and activity where the technology is a key partner in the learning, not an adversary.

I read the stories, picturing so many classrooms that I’ve visited.  That scenario doesn’t play out.  For the most part, I know of professionals that would be so pleased to have such a tool to make a good learning experience better.

 

OTR Links 08/26/2015


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