Monday, August 30, 2010

Even More Loss of Personal Freedom: Technology in Schools (UK)

    As I'm sure many of you are aware, as of late there has been a trend of decreasing personal freedom in favor of government control. With the passage of the patriot act in the USA, Government Censoring of the Internet in AUS, Tightening border and gun restrictions and crack downs on criminal punishment and drug enforcement, along with the recently proposed international treaty ACTA, the new Schools Minister Nick Gibb in the UK seems to be taking this even further. And it is happening inside the school system.


   As any of you who have been or are currently students know the entire school system is built upon levels of interactions between students and facualty, and in order to be successful students must learn to trust teachers, and teachers must learn to empathize with their students needs.


  The whole system's success revolved around interpersonal bonds between the students themselves so that they may learn topics on a deeper level. As of recent much of this that was once done face to face is beginning to happen inside cyberspace. Online sites such as myspace, facebook, and twitter allow students to keep up-to-date on the goings on of their ever increasing social circles. And while away from the computer students rely on Cellphones and other mobile devices to stay connected. Allowing them to share news on anything from how bored they are to helping each other with their homework. Another key piece of technology has become the MP3 player which allows students to share their musical tastes with peer groups in an a communal way. Helping to further build social networks, and increase their strength. But the UK's Schools Minister Nick Gibb doesn't see it this way.


  In a written statement to Parliament Mr. Gibb Announced that he wanted to improve behavior and reduce bullying by extending the powers that teachers currently have to search pupils for knives or other weapons, and has told schools that from September they will be allowed to search for alcohol, controlled drugs, and stolen property. Although invasive one could see the desire for such searches, but he goes a step further by promissing to add to the list of items which are considered so undesirable or dangerous that students must be forced to surrender their civil liberties and allow teachers to search them.


From the autumn this will include currently legal items including: fireworks, legal highs - ie completely legal chemicals - pornography, cigarettes and "personal electronic devices such as mobile phones, MP3 players and cameras".


Where will it end?


http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-10635333

14 comments:

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