Image source: londonstimes.us
There is an intermediate school in the Bronx, IS 339, that has turned things around by implementing a radical new approach using laptops. The story is featured in a PBS Frontline video clip (7:16) (entitled ‘How Google Saved a School’ for reasons unknown!) and it provides some interesting food for thought. Social networking applications are not banned, but student machines are monitored remotely. The ‘big brother’ factor might be considered a worry here, but might also be viewed as a scaffold for appropriate use of class time. Students interviewed in the video clip argue that so long as they complete the work that has been set, what difference does it make if they log in to MySpace or some other application? Listening to the faculty, there seems to be tacit agreement that ‘multitasking’ is a fact of life, and so chatting to friends at the same time as you are listening to a teacher is probably okay within the bounds of reasonableness.