Friday, June 4, 2010

Adaptable technologies & Global issues

I really want an iphone!

In fact I am in competition with colleagues and friends to be the first to purchase an iphone. Currently I have the oldest phone which my colleagues have dubbed - 'a modern day brick'. I have found this image of it, in a 2007 online article entitled - "How to recycle your old phone"

Ok - you can stop laughing now!! BUT when this phone dies I WILL get an iphone!!

Unfortunately my friends and I have done everything we can to KILL this phone. It has been dropped, thrown across a Greek resturant, and held above a candle flame until the back of it has been badly burnt. It still works! :-( And for a leader in technology in education this may be a very sad sight indeed.

I want an iphone.

Yes technology is doing wonders in creating collaborative learning environments, providing children with an authentic voice, building confidence and leadership. The newest technologies increasingly support these educational opportunities. In 2008 - "An Apple iPhone or iPod touch (became) a central part of Abilene Christian University's innovative learning experience when all freshmen are provided one of these converged media devices". I commend them and argue that in Early Childhood teachers should also be provided with these ever so portable learning technologies.

I want an iphone.
But at what cost?

Maybe there should be two sides to the education of technology in early childhood. Along with the introduction of technologies into our early childhood centres should be an education of fairness, environmental issues, adaptable technologies, trends and marketing ploys. We should be encouraging our communities and society to develop technologies that grow - not replace technologies yearly with the latest and greatest, but adapting what we have to do more. As an education sector we should lead the way in ensuring that our technologies are created with fairness in mind - that children and families will not be accepting technologies made with the sweat and deaths of third world citizens.

Click on the image below and identify the messages our children and families are receiving. Read the words then step back and look at the whole image.

Apple currently has some explaining to do - and so do we. Steve Job needs to act - and so do we. In our quest to use technologies to increase learning opportunities for children we need to ensure we are not also teaching excess luxury consumption and perpetuating our 'throw away' lifestyle.

Unfortunately I am unable to add the capabilities of an iphone to my modern day brick . So
I'm sticking with it until it dies (which is no time soon at this rate). But I challenge you and myself to consider improving the holistic nature of technology in education, and perhaps encourage our sector to continue to consider global issues (perhaps to the detriment of some 21C learning opportunities) and to also stand up for adaptable technologies.

1 comment:

texas nursing schools said...

I hope you get your iphone soon. I'm very much surprised that such phone as what you have still exist. It is amazing that some schools are so advanced as to use such technologies to the students but I have to agree with you that they should have also provided those to the teachers. How are they to properly teach the kids if they are not able to use and explore such technologies?