I suppose that now is a go time to give and reflect.
I would like us to engage with what it really means to transform ICT education, beyond rubbing the latest shiny new toy or unboxing the latest bit of commercial software. I like asking the big questions in my IT classrooms so here is one. What can we do to really help our students make this world a better place for us all to live in?
Around me, Australians have been playing with their new coal-powered technology gifts. It is sad to recall that we cried poor as we stood at the top of the CO2 heap
, literally thumbing our noses at those in Africa and the Pacific that cried out for help at Copenhagen.
is a fascinating invention. Like the student that freely dips into the wireless access spilling over the school fence from his neighboring home, the technology has even enough range to bridge between the different islands in the Solomons. Whilst the original vision for the telephone was that it could be used to pipe music directly to homes, we would be equally narrow minded to think that the Internet was only for reading school email and piping music to pockets filled with iPhones.
I teach some Sudanese lads who are struggling with renaming files yet can happily play computer games and chat online. Is it appropriate to measuring their learning from their understanding of a computer desktop, a metaphor based upon the workings of a small business office? The different ethnic groups at our school have vastly different traditions and ideas of what it means to 'be working together'. I am now not sure if the collaborative, learning model that I carry about in my head is best and only way forward.
I have had some indirect contact with of the huge technology issues faced by countries on our doorstep. From young computer technicians trained in Melbourne to set up Ubuntu Linux networks for East Timor, the KhmerOS
group that has managed to retain a Cambodian keyboard and recover their language using Open Office and the network manager on Naru who is experimenting recycling old hardware using Kbuntu.
If you think you have problems with Internet, electricity, hardware, language or just collecting a dollar for a school excursion? Think again as you cram all that packaging to make it fit into the recycling bin. I have been reading over the blog stories posted by Beth Santos who is helping to deploy OLPC computers in a tiny and impoverished country on a tiny African island. An extraordinary implementation is taking place in this tiny and impoverished country. Tthanks to people like her, we are making a difference. http://bethstepsup.blogspot.com
I hope you get some moments to spend with your family as I have been and take time to celebrate what it means to be alive.
Let 2010 roll on!