• Alistair Nicholas

A Commical take on influencing policy change


I was delighted to appear on Marie El Daghl's Commical podcast together with Dany Elachi of The Heads Up Alliance to discuss mobile phone restrictions in NSW schools, and how to influence good policy outcomes from government.


The podcast discussed the challenges of modern technology and social media with school-aged children, particularly when they take their internet-enabled devices into the classroom. Kids are distracted and teachers face a constant battle to draw their attention back to the day's lessons.


Yet, the New South Wales Department of Education is reluctant to mandate a "no mobile phones in class rule", leaving it up to individual school principals to make their own decisions on the matter. Some schools ban mobile phones outright, some restrict their use to tech classes and emergencies, and some (possibly) have a fully-libertarian-no-holes-barred approach to the matter.


But what happens when the principal's principles don't don't align with those of the school's parents? How can parents get the message across to government policy-makers that they want a more rigorous approach to how phones and other devices are used during class? How do you get the policy-makers and experts to "get" what parents and frustrated teachers see as a "no-brainer"?


As always, with Chasing Albert's Commical podcast, it was a fun discussion about a serious topic: How to create real change at a governmental level.


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