There’s Something Twitty in the UK

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Either someone in the government has smoked the wrong smokes, or those in charge of the education of the youth got knocked on the head crazy enough to see twitter-birds flying around their heads!

Imagine that one of the hottest stories in the news today was that primary school children in the UK could soon find themselves studying Twitter and the Wikipedia under proposed changes to the curriculum there.

It’s unclear whether the aberration will actually be approved by the UK government, but the plans were outlined by Sir Jim Rose, founder of Ofsted (Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills). What’s even more alarming is that the “reform” already has supporters among teachers:

Mary Bousted, general secretary of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers, said: “They are much more sensible programmes of study. We are pleased they give the profession much more flexibility to meet the needs of their pupils. Children need to be enthused by learning, so they want to learn and gain the skills which will enable them to learn in later life. The debate is not about whether the Victorians are in there or not.”

Sorry bright minds (!), but this time you really messed up: the Web is a very valuable source of information, true, but downplaying traditional books and written text in favor of web-based learning is simply wrong. The information on the Web often comes from unconfirmed sources – Wikipedia itself is a gate to pornography – you should already know that, unless you were living under a rock! You want to teach primary school children how to use Twitter? Did you even bother to read Twitter’s TOS?

You must be 13 years or older to use this site.

As I recall the UK primary school system has two stages: stage one from 6 to 8 and stage two from 8 to 11. Need I say more?!

On Wikipedia FAQ there is also a very comprehensive statement that affects your brilliant (!) idea:

Wikipedia is not censored, which in practice means that in relevant areas throughout the site, you will find possibly distressing content and pictures showing subjects like sexual activity or profanity in context. You may consider such material, present in a small percentage of articles, to be pornography.

Were these British educational masterminds (!) actually meaning Schools’ Wikipedia? This is a downloadable site – meaning that the children will be able to browse it safely, on their own PCs, without being exposed to profanity and other undesirable content? I hope and pray that the UK educational system will reconsider their plans of introducing microblogging and podcasting in primary schools, for the sake and the future of their children.

Sir Jim Rose gets the Everything PR Goofy Award for Education (!)Another idiocy: the mastermind behind the new curriculum, Sir Jim Rose, wants to teach primary school children how to use a spell checker. Well done, Sir! This is how you encourage the youth to learn how to spell (!). Next, why don’t you simply insert a chip into their brains that automatically does calculus, and has all info safely stored on the processor?

I wonder, Sir Jim Rose, are you on a strange crusade of making children lazier, ignorant and unqualified for the real life? Are you trying to make them Web addicted? Or do you just want some attention? Modern communication, Sir? Twitter is a TREND. It may go at any time, when other technology emerges. Are you seriously implying that a curriculum for children under 11 needs to comprise the ephemeral?

For the “brilliant” reform attempt you get today a well deserved PR goofy award!

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  1. says

    I’m old enough to remember the days when they said calculators would produce nothing but generations of innumerates. The stories circulating aren’t even proposals yet, just a leak of a draft paper and no doubt phrased very differently. Using Twitter and being aware of it are two very different things.

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