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It's the Learning, Stupid!
Written by Graham Brown-Martin on Saturday, 01 March 2008
handheldA thirteen year old from Peckham taught me a new word this week. We'd been looking at some new devices from gaming tech to the new breed of ultra low cost laptops when he said of one particular model, "that's not a laptop, it's a craptop". Perhaps a little harsh but it did get me thinking about young people’s relationship with technology.

My 7 year old, a keen iBook owner, an iPhone want-to-have and Nintendo Wii demon, is quite taken with the RM miniBook / Asus EEE PC wanting one in pink to go with her DS. She's not especially unusual in her collection or interest in gadgets, many of her friends from the same inner city primary are hooked. Unfortunately none of these devices can be taken and used in school so any learning with them is performed outside hours with little motivation to share it at school.

The argument about technology being embedded in the lives of learners has been rehearsed many times in these forums and at our conferences. So let's not dwell on whether we want to call these learners "digital natives" less the fogies that are clinging on to their respeck get offended. Let's accept the principle that these guys wear their tech like clothes. By this I mean they take it for granted and use it/abuse it, often in ways that previous generations haven't considered. Also like clothes their gadgetry and use of tech are used as identifiers of trend, fashion and tribe.
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