Saturday, February 18, 2006

English as a foreign language?

This week, the current rotation of First Years came to an end; the classes I have grown to love (or tolerate) will be moving on to try out other "practical" subjects. As a reward for 13 weeks' hard work (!), the pupils spent their last period of ICT as "free time".

In my day (cue 1974 Hovis tune), "free time" was only granted at the end of June, when the curriculum had been completed, and involved the heady excitement of playing hangman on a scrap of paper with your neighbour. In today's ICT classrooms, scraps of paper just won't do. To the pupils, free time means internet time. So I was handed a golden opportunity to witness what the average 12-year old uses the internet for. And there were no surprises.

Boys, who (in simpler times) would have been playing "Best Man Falls" (remember that?) on the grassy banking outside, naturally transferred their violent tendencies to gaming sites like the bloodthirsty Stick Men. Girls, on the whole, were content to play with the (non-violent, but pretty vacuous) Paperdoll Heaven.

The only exceptions were amongst the girls, some of whom elected to practice their French using the Task Magic program, or browsed each others' home pages, most of which sported titles like Welcum 2 ma syt! and comprised lengthy sequences of digital photos.

I briefly wondered which activity engaged the brain more productively: my scraps of paper, or the modern equivalents? Then I logged on and dressed Harry Potter up in a ridiculous floral shirt.


At Sat Feb 25, 08:56:00 am GMT, Blogger David said...

My daughters are obsessed with that paperdoll thing. It's bizzare isn't it? The other one they spend ages on is Dollwars where you dress-up dolls and then set them up in competition with other dolls. People vote for which one they like the best and if yours wins, you get points... that seems to be about it! Now where's my copy of Doom?


Post a Comment

<< Home