Like a waterfall of droplets shattering on a rock, I had a lot of visitors today to a few of my recent blog posts. Thanks to TexasISD.com for pointing folks in this direction with these two posts:
TECH BLOG: Achieving Free in Texas School Districts
Chatting with folks around Texas over the phone or via Skype–virtually, no cost–I continue to be surprised, and perhaps, a bit disappointed, at the decisions both small and large school districts make. The central question I ask myself is, “Why can’t school districts achieve a free state of being with modern technologies?” [ View Article ] Apr 9, 2010, 08:20
BLOG: Money Stream Goes Dry
No more Title 2, Part D…someone remind me, why did I vote for Obama? Sheesh. Tim Holt asks some important questions about state organizations like TCEA and national ones, like ISTE. In the end the effort for advocacy was too little too late. But the real problem is that technology continues to be an after-thought in today’s education. When the money stream runs dry, what will YOU be doing tech specialists? [ View Article ] Apr 9, 2010, 08:14
It’s great that information is getting shared around Texas this way. We need to have deeper conversations about how to STOP spending money on 3rd party vendors, and instead divert it back to where it can make a greater difference–our classrooms. Reflecting on my career as an educator, I am particularly fond of the time I spent as an education specialists working for one of the 20 regional education centers in Texas.
That time allowed me to develop professional learning opportunities for educators across 52 districts and private/charter schools. The work helped me transition from my work with the Texas Education Network (TENET) to a broader appeal via the World Wide Web and sharing the powerful changes going on. In that time, I came to appreciate that schools are spending an incredible amount of precious funding on software, hardware simply because “it’s the best,” not because they intend to actually use it.
When you consider how much money school districts waste on annual software licensing upgrades, not because it’s the best and least expensive, but because it is what people are most comfortable with–like when technicians lock down computers in schools because they don’t want to deal with teachers or students who accidentally, or deliberately, load software or mess up computers–and they would make learning and teaching conform to their narrow vision.
“As a teacher,” shared one ed-tech specialist, “I have to keep learning and growing. I can’t just stop and say, ‘Ok, I’m done’ learning. Technicians think they can do this!” Her words resonated with me. If you’re focused on securing your network and computers, then your focus is plain wrong.
If we’re going to help children and those who facilitate their learning true technology competitors, then we have to accept they cannot accomplish that while working on a computer that is “shrink-wrapped.”
Subscribe to Around the Corner-MGuhlin.org
Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin’s blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure