Uncovering the smartphone: a year 10 perspective

Students at North Sydney Girls High School recently spent six weeks away from normal classes to work on projects of their choice that were somehow related to the smartphone.

North Sydney Girls is one of New South Wales' selective schools, and all year 10 students took part in the smartphone-related projects, working in teams of six.

Some groups decided to create smartphone apps for things like the school magazine, urban safety, or political activism. Others designed smartphone cases to provide solar power or to deflect potentially harmful radiation. Yet others took a more conceptual approach, such as creating a parody TV advertisement as a critique on planned obsolescence.

"It's often said by technology companies that they want to make technology invisible, that it should be seamlessly integrated into everyday life, that we should be able to use technologies like the smartphone without ever having to really think about what we're doing. I quite like the idea of inverting that, and trying to make technology visible," said Ed McMahon, one of the teachers who coordinated the project.

In this week's Patch Monday podcast, McMahon explains the background to this "Uncovering the Smartphone" learning exercise, and some of the students explain their projects and what they learned.

"Far and away, the one that won the prize for most surprising was a group that chose to do a musical based on the theme of cyber warfare," McMahon said.

To leave an audio comment on the program, Skype to stilgherrian, or phone Sydney +61 2 8011 3733.

Running time 30 minutes, 51 seconds.


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