November 15th, 2010

hard-hat, firstaid

ICT Cages for Schools

Originally uploaded by sparr0
I reckon we are going to see more crack appearing in school ICT infrastructures that cannot be papered over by mandating a particular OS, platform or policy. This isnt going to be easy for us IT managers as we have manged to take things this far scrabbling for funds, spilt, polish and fair measure of central control.

Students are already leaving of us behind whilst they run smart apps and smart interfaces on their smart phones. Change is happening and it isnt going to stop because we built a faraday cage around the school, a padded playground, mandated more old hardware, or spread new layers of control to fill in the cracks. That just wastes more money and puts off the inevitable.

After I waved goodby to my final year 12 students following their final VCE IT exam, they pointed to the study group that I recommended they set up. Ironically it was on facebook and help keep each other on task and on track using their phones. Of course I wasnt a part of this group, and probably didnt need to be (or should be). What is interesting is that it happened at school, in spite of everything we have done to disuade, ban, condemn and prevent it from happening.

I wonder what does that say about us and what have I done to really prepare them for this parallel universe?

Don't get me wrong ... this is not a debate about filter failure or censorship. I am just pointing out that replacing one factory model for learning with another techno-coated flavour does nothing to move schools out of the dark ages.

It is time for us to grow up and move onto the real challenges, adapting and adopting what can give real traction to learning.