26 Responses to “Breaking the Ice: Why Low Performing Schools Need Digital Media-A Blog Post for the Huffington Post Education”

  1. Bill says:

    Yes, indeed. The rules of engagement guide that first moment of authentic contact from which learning grows. I like the experiment, as well as the cautious observation that some technology can help break this ice of distrust. As long as schools use classrooms with teachers and students in those spaces, trust is a basic rule of engagement.

  2. 'Wale Oni says:

    Nigeria shares alot of socio-political characteristics with the United States, [the more reason I advocate for a proactive management (defensive & offensive) of the country's telecommunication infrastructure (Internet and the GSM) in an era of cyber war, Information war or information operations (cf. Cyberwar and its implications for a wireless world in press for 2011)] with a quarter of the continent’s 4.4% penetration rate and estimated 79.47million (of 150million population) mobilephone users. It is a worthy research exercise to know the percentage of “significantly” literate users across the educational strata to determine the extent of/success in the adoption of this ubiquitous technology. As they use it more for social, entertainment (music/FM radio > video) and ostentatiously (status conferer), its educational application is painstakingly minimal and a great intrusion to classroom learning and a object for cheating in the examinations. While all exam regulations are against it, its presence with students in class is not heavily ruled against, especially in public schools. I strongly look forward to when Nigerian students will make good use of this device in accessing libraries, ebook, and word-meaning rather than for advanced cheating through texting.

    ‘Wale Oni teaches communication/(new)media studies at the Communication Studies Department, Osun State University, Nigeria. A PhD student of Communication & Language Arts, University of Ibadan.

    • S. Craig Watkins says:

      Thanks Wale ONI.

      I don’t think young students are alone in defining and using digital and mobile media technologies as a source of entertainment. Most companies emphasize the entertainment features and the ability to consume pop culture anytime and anywhere. I think the adults in young people’s lives should take a leadership role in defining these technologies as sources of information, power, and civic engagement. Schools could certainly help establish new media platforms as powerful sources of learning rather than mere tools to be policed.

  3. Joe Tedesco says:

    I love your stance on calling for smart phones to be used for learning. I too teach in low SES and Latino majority school and we only have one computer lab (40 computers) for the entire 1,200 plus students to share. I would love to introduce more mobile or smart phone lessons with my class. The challenge is only half of my students own a smart phone. Perhaps someone knows of applications or exercises in which a pair of students share a phone between the two of them.

    -Joe Tedesco

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