Just when I thought education was finally moving past the traditional four rows of desks and a whiteboard for the model of what constitutes learning, Pennsylvania introduces a Bill (363) to ban all student cell phones from school grounds. What!?
Yesterday I watched an amazing presentation by Julie Evans from the Tomorrow Group, who told us that only 24% of advanced technology students believe that they are receiving an education that prepares them for the digital 21st Century Workplace. Julie spoke about how prevalent cell phones and other mobile devices are among students, and how much they WANT to use their devices in learning. Also, she talked about the "Free Agent Learner", the student who does not want to be bound by a classroom or a cubical to learn or work.
I've also been reading some reports by the Partnership for 21st Century Skills, and learning that almost 90% of Americans think that U.S. students are not getting the digital skills they need to be competitive in the future workforce. Maybe because we tend to ban or filter some of the best resources in education??!!!
Bill 363 seems to fight against getting students ready to compete in a global, digital, and mobile economy. I'm not sure it if this Bill is created out of fear, ignorance, or pride. In any case, I urge you to sign the petition that to stop this Bill and let school districts decide what is best for their students.
I hope the creators of the Bill take some time to read the following;
The 2009 Horizon Report
Pockets of Potential (Cooney Center Brief)
Learning Environments Must Break Through the Silos that Separate Learning from the Real World
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