The transition from primary school to high school is an exciting time in young people’s lives. The promise of a whole new group of friends, different teachers, new subjects, different canteen foods and exciting new adventures is appealing to many students.
For me, one of the most exciting, and perhaps memorable, parts of entering Year 7 was receiving my very own mobile phone pass. This small, lamented piece of orange paper painstakingly written and signed by the Year Advisor entitled me, and over 200 other Year 7 students, the privilege of carrying around our mobile phone during school hours (for a ‘justifiable’ reason, of course!). Just like the ‘No Hat, No Play’ rule in primary school, those students who did not carry a phone pass and were caught using their device would have to report immediately to the front office, where their beloved item was confiscated for the day.
By the time I was in Year 12, this system became archaic and the Mobile Phone Authority was made redundant. Owning a mobile phone was no longer considered a privilege but became an essential part of these increasingly technologically empowered student’s lives. In a matter of six years, the school’s media space had changed dramatically and new rules and policies had to be introduced accordingly, including the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policy.
In this way, it is interesting to consider the idea that media spaces are defined and determined by the common parameters of access and infrastructure. In the case of formal secondary education, increasing student access and ownership of technology has dramatically altered the school learning environment, creating a new social media space that presents a number of challenges to the existing pedagogies of secondary education. Indeed, as a Year 7 student, I would have never foreseen a world without the Mobile Phone Authority!!!
Looking forward to a fun and interesting session, BCM240!