Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Just Couldn't Resist

Here's a question for any classroom teacher.

In the magazine cover depicted here, the young lad apparently is reading a baseball magazine he has smuggled into class.  He's using his textbook in a vain attempt to hide it.  From the looks on the face of his teacher, he's about to learn a new lesson in life.

My question is what should be an appropriate consequence?  Should it be:

  1. Take away his textbook so he can't hide magazines anymore (and certainly won't be able to complete his assignment either, but that's his problem isn't it?).
  2. Put him in the corner so he sets an example for others that learning new knowledge on your own is strictly verboten and that only the teacher knows what you should be learning.
  3. Invite him to continue if he wishes but be prepared to report on the article to his classmates.  Oh, and don't worry about the assignment, he'll have plenty of time to catch up by staying after school today.
  4. Assign after-school detention but have the student write lines that have little to do with the course content, but is sure to impress upon him that the teacher is boss.
  5. Ignore it.

Which of these consequences allows learning to continue and which do not?

Fast forward to the year 2010 and imagine a student with a mobile digital device accessing a web page not related to what the class is studying, or may in fact even violate the school's AUP.

Now, which consequence would you choose?  If you chose differently, why?