Blue Skies Thread, Technology: is it to compliment existing practices or for you to force innovativation in General; I posted this last night somewhere else but thought i'd ask in here too.
Many schools and colleges look ...
4th March 2008, 09:56 AM #1
Technology: is it to compliment existing practices or for you to force innovativation
I posted this last night somewhere else but thought i'd ask in here too.
Many schools and colleges look to be innovative to gain a lead on other schools, to help drive change and to help meet agendas from many agencies or organisations. At what point do we look at whether technology should be a resource to compliment existing resources and models rather than forcing innovation and change?
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4th March 2008, 10:42 AM #2
I would say that it is a balance between the two. For example, it should be used to remove as many labour intensive tasks as possible from a school. In some areas this will mean simply supporting existing practices and in others it will innovate.
However, the school shouldn't push for technology for technology's sake. When a school does this, they usually do it haphazardly and end up with a mess. (For example, rolling out wireless laptops before actually introducing them into curriculum plans or testing to see whether such a technology is actually useful).
The main thing is that technology should not be assessed as 'technology' on its own. Instead, a way of teaching or doing a task should be decided upon and then technology chosen to fit that task.
4th March 2008, 11:52 AM #3
It is all about getting the balance right, however you always need the solid foundations to build upon before you embark on any new technology adventure.
I also think there is an ever present danger with any new & emerging technology; all too often people latch onto new technology and then go searching for a problem to solve using it.
I was taught many years go that it is almost always better to begin with the end users definition of the problem or requirement and then find a solution, not the other way round. I do believe you can use technology effectively to innovate and drive improvement as long as you make sure you have considered the risks and really understand what solution you are looking for, sadly this is not always true in schools (or anywhere else).
4th March 2008, 09:12 PM #4
It getting right balance and not jumping in feet first. So yes have new technology think of new ideas on how to use equipment but if see new piece of equipment then don't go and buy 20 of them. You buy one and see how that works with in the school then once got educational side pinned down then you buy more.
5th March 2008, 10:00 AM #5
I know this is somewhat parrot-like, but it is a mix of the two!
As others have said, the trick is not to rush in feet first and buy 20 of something which a Governor read about in the Sunday Telegraph, but first to investigate them in more detail and then (if appropriate) get one in - preferably on a trial / loan basis - and see how it goes. That Department can then buy the other 19, or promote it to other Departments who will each buy a few.
Our budget for IT equipment isn't given in a use-it-or-lose-it way, so we don't have a Mad March randomly buying "stuff". While following this policy has meant that we don't have loads of redundant/un-used/misused/misunderstood equipment lying round gathering dust until the accountant agrees it has no value and can be binned (unlike many schools' video conferencing suites!), it does limit our ability to "suck it and see" and also means that we are technologically behind some other places (which isn't necessarily a Bad Thing).
There are some people who will dive in and try something new, adapting their teaching styles and lessons to incorporate the new technology, and there are others who will not budge until they can see a clear benefit (and even then might be slow to do so). Personally, I do not think that either of these philosophies are 100% right or 100% wrong, they both have their merits and so long as your staff team has a mix of the two, you should be okay...
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