Kingston Diary - The rise of the smart phone
Can you text on that marvellous phone thing?” “Oh yes sir, easy”. And so for the first time ever in my teaching career I marked an essay on “How important was the Wall Street Crash in enabling Hitler to seize power in 1933?” in text – surprisingly not bad at all.
My epiphany on pens came on Monday. “Sorry Sir I can’t do the test, I have damaged the tendon in my right finger”, she said while smugly scanning her new smart phone. She knew my usual response, “write with your left hand” could not apply for a timed test. We both thought she had slipped out of a potentially tense encounter, thirty six hours later, at the Lower Sixth Parents’ Evening. Then came the moment. “Can you text on that marvellous phone thing?” “Oh yes sir, easy”. And so for the first time ever in my teaching career I marked an essay on “How important was the Wall Street Crash in enabling Hitler to seize power in 1933?” in text – surprisingly not bad at all. I am sure that that the years spent in primary school learning to manipulate a predominantly medieval instrument could be used in a far more beneficial manner. Certainly the smart phone can communicate swiftly, neatly and offers amusing methods for students’ to learn – try getkahoot.com if you want a superb revision tool.
The Lower Sixth Parents' Evening is a very important one for the students as they receive their first inkling of predicted UCAS grades. Of course they have the opportunity to persuade us to improve them before the summer holidays, but they are also a sharp reminder that their school time is finite and that the serious business of carving out an adult life for themselves is rapidly approaching. This the Upper Sixth know now, as they toil in readiness for the opening of the assembly hall doors for their first A-level examinations.
This week has, however, not just been about the adult future. A mad and hugely exciting junior tug o’ war competition flooded the cage with hoards of shrieking supporters as their champions, both boys and girls, heaved one another towards humiliation or glory. Queen’s triumph was unusual as the reigning champions have slumped to bottom place behind Taverner. Their rise from the dead has been more spectacular than Leicester City’s and a reminder to us all that the wheel of fortune always turns.