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Showing posts from June, 2015

The trouble with e-learning

Most young people have a palpable passion for e-learning. Yet I'll admit being reluctant to sign up my kids up to BYOD. It stands for "bring your own device".

Many ACT schools are making it compulsory. Students will have to bring their own device as their school provides high-speed Wi-Fi. Fast internet access has already been rolled out to most secondary schools. With money confirmed in this month's Barr budget, in a few years it will be rolled out to every primary school.

My concerns are not about cost, although there are equity issues especially for low-income or larger families. Schools are selling Chromebooks for a few hundred dollars. I am more concerned about the potential impact on my kids' attention-span, memory and sleep as the policy more intensely ties our home to the school's digital classrooms and homework load.

Social media sites will be blocked by the Wi-Fi system on campus. E-learning in the classroom is not limited to the internet but a BYOD …

Legacy of racist laws not easily erased

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A seminal moment in Martin Luther King's early life was getting a bus across town to Booker T. Washington high school.

People of his colour were told to sit at the back. "I would end up having to go to the back of that bus with my body, but every time I got on that bus I left my mind on the front seat," he wrote. "And I said to myself: one of these days I'm going to put my body there where my mind is."

"I had seen police brutality with my own eyes and watched Negroes receive the most tragic injustice in the courts," the preacher and civil rights activist said in the mid-20th century. "I also learned that the inseparable twin of racial injustice was economic injustice."

These days anyone can ride in the front. Barack Obama occupies the White House. But barriers remain that prevent the true joining of bodies and minds, and not just in the United States.
In Ferguson, Missouri, and in South Carolina police officers routinely shoot unarmed b…