Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Don't Ban Guns in School!

There seems to be a lot of “negative publicity” lately as to the allowance of weapons in schools. Admittedly, they can sometimes cause harm, whether purposely or by accident, and can also be used with ill-intent. But I am progressive, and have the ability to see beyond these minor inconveniences.

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Guns can be used to enhance curriculum. Wouldn't your lesson on Civil War combat be even better if students could take turns firing a time-period replica Gatling gun? Or how about a re-enactment of the Valentine's Day Massacre (students would shoot blanks at each other, of course)?

Guns empower students. Some of their biggest heroes (Rambo, Davy Crockett, or Walker: Texas Ranger, for example) are often seen toting guns, so this connection will help insecure students feel like part of a group.

Guns are part of the real world! Students in rural and urban areas alike will probably come into contact with guns at some point after graduation. Your school mission statement undoubtedly states that your goal is to prepare students for the real world. Let's face it – guns are here to stay. Instead of ignore them, let's teach kids how to use them effectively!

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Are you shaking your fists at me yet? Are you calling for my teaching certificate to be burned?

Before you gather your friends and arm yourself with pitchforks, realise that I was being a bit satirical. Even though guns may have some good, they are clearly not meant for school use.

Did you notice that all the same arguments have been made for using cell phones in schools? Now you tell me – is cell phone use in school a good idea?
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5 Responses:

cookp said...

I can point a cell at you and we both walk away unharmed.

Jennifer said...

I can see your point about the arguments that some people have made about allowing cell phones in school and making fun with the guns is funny. However, in all seriousness, the only thing a gun can do is kill someone and cell phones can do so much more (Ha!Ha!)! Seriously now, the benefits of cell phones for educational use far outweigh the negatives. They have amazing potential, particularly where augmented reality is concerned. Imagine a student in a school courtyard looking a tree with his AR enabled iPhone, and when it recognizes the pattern of a tree, it names the species of the tree, opens up the center to expose the number of rings, the molecular structure of the bark, and/or animal inhabitants. I could go on. It all depends on how you see the glass. The bottom line, there will always be those who abuse technologies, that doesn't mean we should ban them anymore than we should guns.

sue said...

Can you take a pornographic picture with a gun, spread it around the school and devastate a child?

Dave Sherman said...

John, you are making quite a stretch with the gun analogy. There is just way too much potential for positive cell phone use in classrooms in the coming years. You can keep your head stuck in the sand, or hide behind silly comparisons, but soon you will be forced to give in to this powerful medium as a viable learning tool.

I noticed that you are enamored with the mini Asus Eee netbook. This is a perfect example of computers getting smaller. Within the next few years, computers will be the size of cell phones with keyboards projected by light on to a table top. What will you do when these are the only computers available to students in your classes?

The same issues will still exist with students potentially abusing cell phones. We might as well accept it now, and teach kids to use the technology appropriately.

John said...

@Dave Sherman

First, thanks for taking a peak at my Eee blog. I have used the Eee as my primary computer since purchasing it in November, and I truly believe that netbooks are the future of computing. I don't, however, feel the same way about cell phones.

Let me clarify. I'm not talking about devices like iPhones/iTouches or even PDAs like a Pocket PC (in fact, I led a pilot program using Pocket PCs in my district with much success). In my post, I am referring to cell phones that are meant to be just that - a phone. I have an LG Chocolate. It makes calls and can text. It wasn't intended to be an educational tool, so I don't think its necessary to use it as such. Just because a kid walks into my classroom with a phone in his/her pocket, doesn't mean I should plan a lesson around it.

It's not a matter of having my head in the sand. It's a matter of closely examining the specifics of each idea - the pros and cons - and making a rational decision. There are a lot of progressive ideas regarding tech in education that I completely support. Cell phones just isn't one of them.