Twitter is awash with adults grabbing their mobile phones to tweet their outrage at the use of mobile phones by pupils in schools. There is evidence to prove student test scores can be improved if you ban mobile phones, the evidence “suggests that restricting mobile phone use can be a low-cost policy to reduce educational inequalities.”
But has anyone researched the impact of high stakes testing on mobile phone usage? Is there any evidence that GCSEs severely curtail mobile phone use? Is there any evidence that during the fortnight before the 15th May mobile phone use by pupils is severely restricted by the use of coursework deadlines to concentrate minds? What about mobile phone use by teachers, is there a scandal brewing? Is there any evidence of teachers being unable to tweet and blog as much as they can during the rest of the year due to the ridiculous demands of controlled assessments?
It might be found from next year that, due to coursework changes brought in by Gove, teachers will be freed up to use their mobile phones more – Gove is a well known user/abuser of mobile phones witness how David Cameron had to severely admonish Gove and confiscate his phone for life when said device disrupted a cabinet meeting.
Perhaps it was the Cabinet Meeting that was getting in the way of the phone use?
There is an answer to all these problems: ban everything that gets in the way of mobile phone use.
Smart phones make you smarter – witness what the OCR board’s Will Hornby said: “I’m quite struck by the idea pupils might use techniques they did not know when they walked into the exam room by being able to search [the internet].”
Far simpler would be to ban high stakes assessments, any pupil or teacher found in possession of an OCR, Pearson, AQA or ‘Educas’ paper could be put into solitary confinement and forced to watch a powerpoint on twenty-first century skills for hours until their eyes bleed and they too begin to believe.
This is the modern world, get with it cats!