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.