Some students were discussing their cell phones this week and asked me to look up a particular phone on the internet for them. They compared features and discussed prices and when I expresses shock over the three hundred dollar price tag on the phone they had me search for I learned that many of them carry two and three hundred dollar phones around with them. Though cell phone use is against the rules at school they can be carried for use after school as long as they are kept out of sight.
That night I was reading an article by Vickie Davis at Cool Cat Teacher blog about students surreptitiously recording teachers and those recordings ending up on YouTube and other places on the internet.
It was just a few years ago that I was involved with a church where some angry members brought a tape recorder to a meeting (that was open to anyone) and had everyone up in arms because of the statement it made. At least that was out in the open. If she had been a part of this cell phone generation she could have just clicked a button on her phone and no one would have realized what was happening.
In post 911 paranoia times we have given up some of our rights for a false sense of “Homeland Security” If we have freedom to make choices we also have to use responsibility in making them and also be accountable for the outcome. By giving up freedom we are in effect saying that we want someone else to be responsible for making decisions for us. Responsibility is elusive to teach. You can teach that actions have consequences but that’s more a law of physics. Taking on responsibility is an inner response to a situation. I hope we have not gotten so complacent or maybe just lazy that we aren’t willing to teach responsibility by modeling it.
As Vickie makes the comparison – our kids have toys that would be better suited to James Bond movies and they know how to use them. They have the freedom of the how but do they have the responsibility of the when?
Even though the year 1984 has long passed I think the era has just arrived. There really is no such thing as privacy anymore. I wonder what George Orwell would think.