Gen Wi-Fi

This is a thought-provoking piece of writing. Mr Thiel discusses important aspects of Whitby’s (2013) Educating Gen WI-FI, and raises the question whether educators should confiscate mobile phones, seeing as these digital tools are a natural part of the students’ life. This post struck me because I, a bit reluctantly, let the students use their smart phones for research purposes today for a presentation project. I was very unsure whether this would impede learning or not. My experience is that students were more motivated, and instead of yelling “teacher! teacher” what is [this] and [that]”, they could simply work as explorers on the web, in charge of their own learning processes.

Teacher in the Rye

COV_GenWiFi.indd

The child on the cover of Greg Whitby’s new book looks down at his phone, leaning to one side and away from the viewer, curling a thumb over a tiny screen. At first glance, he’s a symbol of disengagement, challenging educators to lift his gaze. You’d say impatient with schooling, hiding away in the back row, cultivating a look of defiance. His melancholy pout seems practiced, selfie-ready. If he’s asking for anything, it’s for someone to confiscate his phone.

But you shouldn’t judge a cover until you’ve read its book. Having finished Educating Gen Wi-Fi I see this child as attentive, not distracted; learning, not resisting; asking only to use the tools of his daily life to contribute to life at school. As Whitby explains: “For today’s young people technology is more than simply something you use for fun or a novelty, it is an integral and natural part of…

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2 thoughts on “Gen Wi-Fi

  1. Pingback: Apps + Homework = MALL | Kim-Daniel's Digital Didactical Blog

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