From the “So What Do We Do About This?” Department comes a story about the tech savvyness of one 14-year old South Korean youngster who is making his phone play an important part in his education.
Insoo doesn’t even have to take the phone out of his pocket to send an SMS. He knows how to slide it open, which buttons to push how many times to reach the “Send SMS” menu option, compose the entire text message, and hit the send button — all without even looking at the phone. This is especially handy when he needs to send an SMS during class.
And so what does his network look like?
The first thing Insoo does after Hakwon [his school] is, of course, turn on the PC. Insoo has a difficult math problem as homework. He posts it up on Naver Knowledge iN, a popular online Q&A service with some 70 million entries. Within about 10 minutes of posting, someone chimes in with a good answer, and Insoo awards him with some “Knowledge Power” points — knowledge-based economy in action among 14-year-olds.
Hmmm…that sounds like Twitter on steroids. (I’d guess Shareski would be leading in “Tweet Power” points by now.) Read the whole article for more potentially “unacceptable” behavior on the part of young kids using technology.
So, without this turning into Rhetorical-Question-A-Rama, what should we as educators in a country that is about five years behind South Korea (according to this blog post, at least) be thinking about this version of the future? (Or is it already happening now?) Do we clamp down harder on the technologies our kids use? Try to penalize, even criminalize their use? Keep pretending that there are no acceptable uses of phones or other connection tools? Or do we start thinking about changing what we do and how we do it? Should open phone tests be ok? Should we embed the information and connection skills that the student in the story has into our own curricula? Oh, and by the way, who taught Insoo to do the things he’s doing, do you think? (Ok…Rhetorical-Question-A-Rama it is.)
I keep seeing this through the lens of my kids. Do I really want to call Tess a cheater if she uses the phone in her pocket to access her network to get an answer to a question on a test? My answer: depends. Let me see the question, but I’d have to say that most likely, if it can be answered by using her phone and by her network, then let’s teach her how to make good use of those resources instead of pretending they don’t exist.
(Article via Ewan’s delicious links)