The More Things Change, The More They Stay The Same

This is now the third week of the school year. The class is settling, I'm putting one foot after the other in my share of the team teaching duties and there seems to be a lengthy stream of things to GET DONE as the year slips out of first gear and starts to become more structured and more routined. You know, class newsletter, check. Class photos up, check. Homework Grid ready, check. Parent Acquaintance Interviews organised, check.

You get the picture.

I'm trying to put my finger on whether this year feels different yet. It feels normal enough but in my visits around the classrooms when previewing our new ICT Use Agreements, the biggest buzz was around the idea of having permission from home to bring mobile phones, portable gaming devices and digital cameras to school. Nearly 90% of my class have a mobile but the big market share device around the school is definitely the Nintendo DS or DSi. It doesn't matter which classroom I walked into - kids from five to twelve owned these pieces of personal technology en masse.

Very interesting. In the primary school setting, maybe more of a potential gamechanger than an iPad?

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3 thoughts on “The More Things Change, The More They Stay The Same

  1. Trevor M.

    Considering that there are already several complaints that the iPad will give too many distractions to the students, I don’t see how the Nintendo DS or DSi can be a game changer. Also, considering that the DS has been on the market for a few years now, it hasn’t changed the classroom in any way other than being a distraction. I usually catch a student once or twice a week playing during class. The iPad has a much greater chance at changing education. See my post at

  2. Graham Wegner

    Just thinking out loud here.
    I suppose I was thinking about the fact that kids do find the DS to be enormously engaging and how do we tap into that?
    I actually believe that the web is the game changer (if only teachers would recognise it and weave into their classrooms) – for me, the iPad is another device format for accessing the web. If game changing equals digitising textbooks then we need a new definition.

  3. Dean Groom

    The DS is a great tool for building social cognition in the classroom, – Derek has been developing primary resources and curricula for them in Scotland for eons it seems. The point for me in using games and devices that play them is to be able to hook into the ‘back of brain’ skills that kids have to use them. Ive been looking into autism and games (as you do) and games present as potentially more interesting and do-able than pure new-learning. The trick then is to find the balance, where the game and device forms part of the activity. DS’ are excellent and almost bomb proof in kid’s hands. Not sure I’d give little hands iPhone, iTouch or iPad … unless I was prepared for the screen shatters when they drop em’


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