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.

 

2 thoughts on “Watches and Smartphones

  1. Girls at one school I attended taught themselves sign language so they could chat in study hall. Or perhaps in other places. Attempts by students to communicate with each other without teachers knowing is as old as school itself.

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