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    TechnologyEd

    Issue 19, our Term 2, 2016 edition of TechnologyEd is out now. Read the full magazine online signing in with your EducationID, or buy it in print through the EducationHQ Store. You can also subscribe to make sure you never miss an issue, as we cover the world of technology in education across the world.

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    Schools Excursion Guide

    Our annual Schools Excursion Guide is out now, packed with ideas for getting out of the classroom and into the world. Buy the magazine from our store, download the EducationHQ App to read it on your mobile device, or use the EducationHQ Directory to find the perfect opportunity for your students.

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    Latest comments

    In a country which has Ashley Madison advertisements on taxpayer funded TV, which has the gay and lesbian Mardi Gras (which is no longer a protest march, but long ago became a State-supported festival of hedonism); a country which has magazines in every supermarket with articles about sex on the cover; a country which has an ever-declining esteem for the institution of marriage and family values, and thinks the solution to the unwanted results of sex is murder; in that country, you are not going to get far telling a bunch of teenage boys that pornography is wrong. Australian life has never been more about hedonism, fantasizing, entertainment and abandoning responsibilities than now. The eternal has been shoved aside by the temporary, the meaningful for the meaningless. Why not “Eat and drink, for tomorrow we die”? Ashley Madison says, “Life is short. Have an affair”; in our country these days, for the average ‘no religion’-box-on-the-Census-ticking Australian, it’s hard to argue with that. Yep, why not indeed!? When the hacking scandal at Ashley Madison broke last year, I didn’t hear many mainstream commentators say, “Adultery is wrong. That website is wrong,” but rather, “People should be more careful with their online security.” Yep, maybe those porn-viewing boys up in the Gold Coast and down in Melbourne should have been a bit more careful with their online security. Then, voila, no scandal! Life would have gone on as usual. Porn is obviously harmful and destructive to all who use it, as the writer touched on above. It's very hard to extricate. So how to stop it? The writer of the above article suggests a school-based approach, which I’ll address below. But here’s my two cents: For a start, parents should not give their kids phones which can access this kind of material, and shops should not sell them to kids. There ought to be simple phones for kids which only send texts and make calls. (Heck, there were phones like that, not long ago!) Then parents could feel that their kids are contactable, which is the main reason to give them a phone. No kid in the world needs an iPhone. But when the idea of family values is in decline, why would anyone care about that stuff? Having the internet in your pocket is more important in this agile, innovative country than family values; family values like for example, that parents should raise their children properly and set a good example, or that parents who begot their kids value them the most, and have a responsibility to them and that the buck stops with them. Those parents would talk to their kids and set clear rules, and set a clear example. I think many would like to handball the task of tacking porn to the public education system, instead. OK. Not my first choice, but it's something I suppose. But I’m sure any curriculum about porn will, like all other ‘gender’ themed programs of late, be made by feminist activists from some uni in Melbourne and be based on a non-disinterested ‘feminist framework’, meaning it’ll be based on the idea that relations between the sexes are warped by inequality. The take-home message will more or less be ‘boys bad’, just like that ridiculous Government advertisement on TV about domestic violence a few months ago that cost a couple hundred grand. Can’t wait to ignore that one.

    — Marc Schmidt on Time To Talk About Porn

    Yes, being an IT Guru doesn't make someone a teaching and learning Guru, but if the end product that comes from the education system is showing the traits mentioned in this article, then we do need to verify the validity of how students are being educated. I am a teacher who has come from a background of IT Support, so I have sat and currently sit in my role on both sides of the fence. My general view of students, and I emphasise general, is that there is a dependence on technology that is taking away a multitude of skills that used to be taught/learnt in our education system, whether explicitly or implicitly. Skills such as cutting and measuring to make a poster or how to creatively decorate by hand which lead on to professions such as Carpentry and various creative industries are falling by the wayside. These are just a couple of examples beyond what was mentioned in this article. Yes, we do need to prepare students for jobs that have not yet been created, but allowing students to become dependent on technology will not harness the critical thinking, creative (thinking outside the box) thinking, problem solving, and other base level skills that enable students to think and solve problems for themselves. Educators and employers need to work together, because even though new professions will continue to appear and evolve, base level skills are vital for the next generation to be able to satisfy the needs of employers or enable leaders in new fields.

    — Michael on It Guru Says Tech Is 'Dumbing Down' Learning