Saturday, 18 June 2011

The future is now...

Well this is an exciting but not entirely English related post. I'm creating it on my mobile phone. It's going to take a while, given the one-fingered typing it requires.

I'm not the first to do this, and in fact Neil Gaiman has been doing it for years. And more and more people are using their phone as one of their main ways to use the internet, let alone to read e-books. Surely all this mobile reading and writing is going to have an effect? Internet writings are going to get shorter, and people's attention spans will shrink with them? It's alleged that one of the effects of the National Literacy Strategy, with its snippets-based approach to literature, created a generation of children who couldn't manage an entire book, because as far as they were concerned, English came in units of a couple of paragraphs.

I don't know. What I do know is that kids reading and writing what they want to read and write is a Good Thing (see earlier post on texting). In a recent job interview I was asked what the potential use of mobile devices in the classroom was: they have enormous potential for a school and teacher brave enough to swim against the tide of public opinion, and with students sensible enough not to abuse the privilege. Instant internet facts, or YouTube clips of poets reading, or photos for animations or recording of presentations, or even mobile blogging. The possibilities will surely increase and increase; this little palm-sized thing I'm writing on is exponentially more powerful than that first school BBC acorn computer I learnt to type on twenty years ago.

Meanwhile I must get back to the present and marking my final 50 KS2 reading scripts. I wonder if I could upload the marks using my phone...

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