We are all aware of both the pros and cons of technological inventions. While on the one hand, in our normal routine, its advantages are evident and its far-reaching manifestations are a part of our everyday lived reality, on the other hand, majority of
schools in India have adopted a lockdown perspective when it comes to technology policy.
They lock down access to digital tools in an attempt to try to prevent students from getting distracted.
It is essential for school authorities in India to realize two things. The first being, that technology has become an inextricable part of our lives, both the young and the adults alike. And second, that the more you ban/ prevent the usage of anything, the more it will arouse the curiosity of the child and compel him to rebel and use it all the more. This is precisely the reason why most students, despite a blanket ban on cell phones, i-pods, cameras etc., still manage to sneak it into the school premises. While the argument of the school authorities that these devices serve as distractions holds true, it’s high time that schools should at least try and experiment with the “student driven” approach, which is, provide instruction and then put students behind the wheel for practice under your supervision.
A few steps which schools can consider adopting are:
1)Provide students and staff with robust access to Internet resources, including social media sites for higher education like YouTube, Skype, Twitter, and Facebook to maximize access & provide opportunities to exercise judgment.
2)Encourage students to bring cell phones, laptops, e-Readers, MP3 players, and other digital devices to school for learning.
3)Provide wireless internet access and sanction student and staff use of this Wi-Fi using personal devices.
4)Foster students safely blogging, tweeting, and posting work via the Internet for audiences beyond students’ classroom.
The focus of all these policies would be on developing students as responsible Internet users. With guided practice, young students can be taught to become responsible digital citizens.
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