Monday, March 23, 2009

Topic: Technology and Manners

Secondary School

10-second review: Don’t just ban technology in school. Teach students how to use it in a courteous manner.

Title: “Doing the Right Thing with Technology.” N Frey and D Fisher. English Journal (July 2008), 38-43. A publication of the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE).

Summary: The opening paragraph of this article sets the tone for its message:

“We were standing in line at Starbucks one morning before school and were shocked by the behavior that the cashier had to endure from a customer talking on a cell phone. When the employee asked, ‘What can I get for you today?’ the man held up his index finger to quiet her. Looking at the length of the line, she said again, ‘Sir, I can take your order now,’ to which he barked back, ‘I’m on the phone! Just hold on!’ Clearly the customer valued the phone conversation much more than his interaction with the cashier. The customer’s behavior was downright rude, acting as if the question the cashier was asking about the order was unreasonable and meant to interrupt his phone call.” p. 38.

The author suggests that teachers take the time to work with their students on defining courteous uses of technology. The authors and their students gave examples of how people should use technology (cell phones, e-mail, etc.) courteously and listing behaviors that are discourteous. In fact, they created a school policy stating the courteous and discourteous uses of technology in school.

Comment: Good idea. Just reading the first paragraph made me burn with indignation over remembered abuses of technology that I have observed. RayS.

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