Charlie Love wrote a great posting on his website recently.

It is entitled Mobile Devices: The next lock-down after filtering.

Love says

“I have a growing concern that access to connectivity in schools will be the next “lock-down”, replacing our frustrations with web filtering with frustrations relating to how we help learners get their devices connected.

I tweeted recently with a rather stupid hash-tag

#betterbroadbandinINSOMNIAthanyourchildsschool (Insomnia is a chain of Coffee-shops in Ireland with fast, free wi-fi).

Charlie Love has hit a nail on the head. We all expect reasonably fast connectivity, with reasonably little bureaucracy.

Why should it be different for school-children, especially if developing policies are deployed and reviewed?

Students will be initially amazed that schools offer fast and “free” connectivity.

I guess that once they get over the initial honeymoon period, they would settle into occasionally using their devices in class and beyond for learning as encouraged by teachers.

Incidentally, I believe parents in Ireland, who are cutting back on bills at home, because of our deep recession might also appreciate if schools could provide their child with connectivity before, during and after school, as well as opportunities for using their device for learning.

I would certainly encourage members of Student Councils to encourage this debate amongst themselves and bring it to the attention of School Principals and Boards of Management.

Young-people are not stupid. They realise that connectivity is central to many aspects of their lives, whether its healthcare or music. Their voice needs to be heard in suggesting how they can use connectivity in the curriculum.

Yes, as Love says there may be frustrations, but I say, bring them on. We won’t know unless we try and when we try, anything is possible.

Photos: Screenshots from the Twitter accounts of Charlie Love and Donal O’ Mahony

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