Just imagine if you were in charge of deciding what children learn about in school. Now think about podcasts, blogs, Wikipedia and Twitter. Ask yourself a question; Would you prefer that young people left school familiar with these things? Or unfamiliar? Do you need more time to think?
Are you one of those who think that school is a place for books and for chalk, and that the digital world is best left outside the school gates?
Today’s newspapers contain reports of a leaked Government document detailing a number of proposed changes to primary schools in Britain. According to the Guardian newspaper;
“the draft review requires primary school children to be familiar with blogging, podcasts, Wikipedia and Twitter as sources of information and forms of communication”
The question I am asking is whether those changes go far enough. What if the inclusion of blogging and podcasts into the school day were the LEAST radical of the proposals…
“Welcome to school everyone. I trust that you did well in yesterday’s Twitter Test. Today we’re going to have some fun, with our new and improved curriculum”;
1) We’re boosting the three Rs with a fourth letter; S. Speaking. No more mumbling Jenkins.
2) Speed Reading – why three books are better than one
3) Memory Techniques – unforgettable tips and tricks
4) Relaxation and well-being – Because worrying gets you nowhere
5) Dealing with Strangers – Millions of people are out there and waiting to help you become successful
6) How to ‘Google’ effectively – Seek and ye shall find
All of this will be delivered before lunch. Afterwards you’re in for a treat;
1) Cooking on a budget – goodbye turkey twizzlers
2) How to wire a plug – slackers are in for a shock
3) Putting up Wallpaper – cutting and pasting in the real world
3) The basics of money, interest, savings and investments – taught using real money
4) Meet Your Mentor – each of you will be given a local business person to be your buddy this term
Anyone who greeted today’s news with screams of anger and declared this the end of schooling as we know it should relax and take a step back. With a bit of luck, it’s just the beginning.