Open source, Twitter and narcissm


The extract from this week's Guardian on the major upcoming Primary School curriculum review can be found in full here.

A slice of it is reproduced below:

...The review of the primary school curriculum was commissioned by Schools Secretary Ed Balls last year and is being drawn up by Sir Jim Rose, former chief of England's schools watchdog, Ofsted.

The Guardian said the draft review requires primary school children to be familiar with blogging, podcasts, Wikipedia and Twitter as sources of information and forms of communication.

Well, this has caused a fuss. The modernists and traditionalists have set up camp and raised standards to fight for their right to muck up children's education in their own special way.

But from this FOSS bloggist's view-point it's all a bit confusing: on one hand, congrats to Sir Jim for his modernity and open-sourcity. Twitter, Facebook, Wikipedia. All Free*, Open Source software innovations (or at least powered by the LAMP/LAPP stack). I salute him.

But on the other hand do the 'grown-ups' really think this is 'required' education?

I have the tiniest suspicion that the 'trendy teacher' is alive and well in the 21st century but with the twist being that instead of 'driving a Beetle and being funky' he/she is a middle aged 'Twitter-babe' or, worse, checked out their Facebook profile during the Ides of March with no idea what the Ides were and indeed why Brutus was on the Atkins' Diet.

But then dear reader, you like me, just Wikipedia'd 'Ides of March' and Brutus' famous leanness and now know it was the Roman middle of March and trouble was afoot; thank you Open Source Wikipedia. Just looking stuff up, there and then, like that should be a skill that is as natural as breathing to Primary School children... but it is it's the grown ups who think it's really cool.

As an aside on the above theme, Sir Jim thus will no doubt be encouraged by 'his' entries on Wikipedia. He is alternatively; 'Sir James the Rose' a folksy balladier or 'Jim Rose' a circus performer, take your pick.

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