Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Walking down Waterloo Road…again

I admit it – Waterloo Road is my guilty pleasure… but I’d managed to abstain for a couple of years until I succumbed again last night.
Yet again the educational technology issues came thick and fast… good product placement from Promethean continues! Two issues ‘dealt with' related to storylines that have apparently run for a while – the cyberbullying of a girl via text & social media and the ‘gaming addiction’ of the son of the headteacher (Neil Pearson of ‘Drop the Dead Donkey’ fame)'s.
Bonnie Kincaid: Victim of Cyber-bullying
Given that the show aired the day before Safer Internet Day you could praise the writers for tackling these themes… but then…  
The way in which the cyberbullying was dealt with included some good advice – change your number, take screenshots, don’t reply were all worthy but the seeming failure to engage expert, professional advice such as contacting CEOP meant that chances at resolution were dispensed with in order to give free rein to dramatic license. 
That plot device enabled the headteacher to ask his ‘gaming addicted’ son to give him some advice about how he could protect the girl’s phone.  Of more concern the girl then handed over phone and laptop to said son – and PIN and PASSWORD – without… in this episode anyway… any significant warning or denouement as a result.

In future stories (if only they weren't canning the show this year ) I'd be looking forward to see how Waterloo Road deals with parents being asked to buy an iPad (other devices are available) for a BYOD project… would have been fun…  protests... deprivation pleas... theft (by students, local muggers, wholesale clear-out by organised crime syndicate)... fears of multiple wifi-caused maladies... devices not working and Ofsted-observed lessons being ruined ..... but then that's real life...

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