Drop by this week’s Carnival to read the best of the blogging about the mobile venue.
Actually, I have longer experience with New York City public school students than the Mayor does. I have worked with them directly off and on since 1982. I have earned the right to an opinion about what would improve learning for our young people who are enrolled in our public schools.
NYC is the biggest school system in the world. How can it be made better? Or better than that, how can we give our students a way to lead the world into the digital, mobile future? Mayor Bloomberg says he is now going to make the schools better. If I could chat with him, this is what I would suggest:
Let our students lead the world in using their mobile phones for learning:
- Start by lifting the ban on students having their mobile phones with them at school.
- Instead require them to sign an honor pledge not to use their mobiles in violation of courtesy and school rules. (If you think I am naive about the youngsters here, you don’t know our kids. Most of them are already doing what sensible rules would be (courtesy and keeping the phones in their pockets in class), but the Mayor’s current prohibition of the phones makes them have to be sneaks about it instead of obeying rules openly with honor.)
- Institute a student honor team at each school to enforce the mobile honor code.
- Create a NYC schools 3Rs mobile tutorial portfolio that reviews the basic of reading, writing, arithmetic, and other elementary school subjects. The tutorials in the portfolio would be useable on simple cell (mobile) phones as well as smart phones. Distribute the tutorials through the NYC Board of Education website and individual schools and teachers to elementary and middle school students so they can review the basic 3Rs using their mobile phones in and outside of school.
- Begin a collaboration with universities, laboratories, museums and other places with open content for learning on their websites to make mobile tutorials from this content for sciences, humanities, technologies and other subjects. Distribute these tutorials through the NYC Board of Education website and individual schools and teachers to NYC students.
- Institute programs at the Board of Education level and in schools and classrooms to share the mobile tutorials with other school districts, classrooms and students across the world. Let our New York City kids be mentors for how to learn in the 21st century. There are already nearly 3 billion mobile phones out there. Let’s make the mobiles into learning tools and really close the digital divide.
Last evening I spoke with several people about my work centered here. For the past several years GoldenSwamp has been my informal base for advocating that the education of new generations in the 21st century embrace the internet. My recent activities in this cause include:
Blogging on Howard Rheingold’s team at SmartMobs.com
Panelist at Mobile 2.0 in November
Blogging at iCommons.com
Writing a book (to be finished next month), mobile phones and the young generation.
The tabs at the top of this page connect to ideas and background materials. The first tab, What is the Golden Swamp?, explains the name.
Perhaps the most insightful comment in recent weeks that has appeared on the internet about the subject of the too long deferred engagement by education of the richness of the digital world is the prediction here, by Todd Richmond as summarized by Howard Rheingold:
“Resistance is futile,” believes Richmond: although existing educational institutions are not generally embracing a digitally transformed future, “the educational sector will be dragged into the future kicking and screaming by the next perfect storm.”