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21st Century Gadgets

As you have already read above, social networking and e-media are the voice of young people, and the voice of the future. In a previous issue we shared with you some ideas from a School Council on how mobile phones could be used as a learning tool. As we move further into the 21st century, we believe that e-media is going to become more embedded in our psyches, particularly that of the current generation of school-age youngsters. Rather than continually fighting young people and their obsession with all things electronic, maybe we should be listening to them about their ideas and encouraging them to take a wider view on how we can incorporate those views into Student Voice.

I recently watched a School Council give a demonstration of a system called “Activote” (www.prometheanworld.com). Each student was given a pad with voting buttons. When asked a question they could vote “Yes”, “No” or “Maybe” according to which button they pressed on their pad. It was a bit like being involved in a session of “ask the audience”. The young people were interested and engaged. They were listening, and through their voting pads, they were being listened to. What would be really great now, would be to hear them suggesting that the system could be used as part of a Teaching & Learning Survey. It was anonymous, instant and inclusive. It let the shy, quiet students have their voice heard at the same level as the extroverts. Above all, it let ALL the students have a say.

What systems do you already have in your school that could be used to promote “listening with respect” in an electronic gadgetry age? All it takes is a bit of sideways thinking.