On Peripheral Technology in the Classroom

Crossposted from ZIS COETAIL cohort blog

Today in Digital Journalism: “Can I use my iPhone to record video?”

“Which iPhone?”

“The 4s.”

This student has an iPad to use, but the camera isn’t HD, as it is on the iPhone 4s. So why not? I can’t think of a reason. For teenagers, their phones are not peripheral; they are central, hubs around which they organize family, social, and academic lives. When I see a student texting in the hallway, I assume they have a purpose for doing so. I don’t see nefarious purpose built into a peripheral device any more than I see it built into a 1 to 1 laptop. As such, I manage peripherals by trusting students to use them appropriately and having conversations around inappropriate use when it occurs, which is rare and minor, like a vibration during a quiet moment or the odd ring).

Student devices can be powerful tools – mine is, too. I allow them to be used and haven’t had a problem yet. Students have, however, made creative, unique media to share with their peers because they had HD video cameras in their pockets. I struggle to see the downside, frankly.

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