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Weekly Roundup 3: Private-school ‘toffs’, gaming addicts and NAPLAN glitch review

Hi, it’s Wade Zaglas here, education editor for Education Review. Welcome to our third weekly roundup. You can either read this summary or listen to the podcast below.

An amusing story to hit our desks this week was the private school-only dating app that has landed in Australia. Aptly called Toffee, the app promises to unite pedigree partners. The app’s creator, British private school alumni Lydia Davis, told the Sydney Morning Herald that “”we know people from similar backgrounds are more likely to stick together”.

The app costs $6.99 a month and averages 2.8 stars on iTunes. It seems some toffs are not getting who they want or, more correctly, rightfully deserve. “Matched me with a peasant,” wrote one reviewer with the username ‘Blarrg’. “Only has one house, a second-hand car and no horses at all. Disgusting.”

Our own private school girl, Kate Prendergast, has applied, but we suspect her lack of wine knowledge and hair tips has tipped them off. She is from WA after all!

On a more serious note, it’s official: playing games too much has now been classified as a mental illness. This week the World Health Organization designated “gaming disorder” as a mental disorder, much to the joy of some doctors but the chagrin of gaming experts and – of course – the gaming industry.

Some doctors believe gaming becomes a “disorder” when it interferes with people’s routines, relationships and interests and many welcome WHO’s move.

However, Andrew Przybylski, a psychologist at the Oxford Internet Institute, says the disorder isn’t real, equating it to someone “addicted” to, say, watching football or having sex. Unlike the addictive mechanisms at platy in nicotine or opiates, experts are no closer to understanding how an addiction to gaming takes place.

Gaming experts, too, have also taken issue with the classification, lamenting the fact that it pathologises quite normal behaviour and ignores the rich educational function of gaming.

Finally, a review into the disaster that was NAPLAN Online this year is underway, ordered by Federal Education Minister Dan Tehan.

The review will focus on why students lost connectivity during the May test or couldn’t log in at all.

Students in NSW, QLD, South Australia, Victoria and the ACT were affected by the glitch and have been given the option to re-sit the test.

And that’s another weekly roundup for Education Review.

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