It seems like a bit of a foreign concept for me to do two posts in as many days, but I’m getting a bit fired up these days. About most things from community, mentoring young people, supporting local schools, care of creation, and the new one…
An IPad2 as a compulsory part of your school stationery.
I like Smiggle. For those of you who aren’t up with the play, Smiggle is a funky stationery store with lots of little different bits and pieces for your pencil case. It’s super funky and fairly pricey for the average 12-year old. While I’ve been out and about amongst intermediate-aged young people in the school where I work, I’ve had the pleasure of listening to some interesting conversations…
“Oh yeah your pencil case is cool but it’s not Smiggle.”
Of course, my response would be something along the lines of, “What? So that means it’s not cool? But you just said it was cool? So it has to have a label attached? They’re probably made in the same factory in China so what does it matter.”
But the response of my dear 11 year old friend isn’t anything like that. It’s rejection, dejection and all negative feelings associated with our consumerist society, because face it my friend, you’re not good enough unless you spend a little bit more money for the label. Now I’m not dissing Smiggle because they’re out to make a living like everyone else and I think some of there things a wonderful and genius. But I question our attitudes to these things and the culture we’ve created here.
So Orewa College, a state school in Auckland, have decided to make the IPad2 a compulsory item on next years stationery list for in coming year 9 students. They’ve put the word out now so that people have at least 6 months to get it sorted. If you can’t afford it, they’ll come up with some options and potentially some funding. So don’t worry, it’ll be ok.
I get that we want young people to be interacting with latest technology and I think it’s good for them but the polarisation is far less attractive than the opportunity for positive interaction with technology. For kids to feel ostracised because they can’t buy an IPad2 or because they don’t own one is just not what our education system should be about. Plus think back to how you were back in year 9. What are the chances you’ll crack your screen in the first week? The first month? Yeah they’d be high for me too. So not only would my parents be paying for the IPad itself but servicing and repairs on fairly new technology.
I can’t get my head around this. I remember it was bad enough asking us to spend $180-odd on a graphics calculator or $250-odd on my school kilt. I see the benefits of working with this kind of technology but surely there’s an easier solution than making every kid buy an IPad2. gar.