May 26, 2011

Stephen LoquetIn January this year (2011) the NSW Department of Education and Training appointed a new Chief Information Officer.

You can read the details in The Australian and at ZDnet.

The previous deputy CIO has not had his contract renewed, and has left the DET. The deputy CIO was responsible for the DET’s all-consuming focus on ‘big iron’ infrastructure, and a hardline against the integration of new devices, such as iPads, on the DET network.

Hopefully, this appointment will see a new pedagogical perspective brought to ICT planning and implementation practices in NSW public schools, where ICT support the curriculum, rather than stifling the adoption of new learning technologies in classrooms.


Asleep at the wheel

May 22, 2010

Remember back in the day when schools were managed by educators, who were able to interpret a syllabus to develop a curriculum that supported learning outcomes and engaged the imagination of students at the school?

Remember when schools strived to be at the leading edge of the learning process? When diversity was valued and nurtured? When the goal was to be “the best”, not “the same”?

The curriculum offered by public schools is increasingly being restricted by bureaucrats who have not one zot of interest in, let alone any understanding of, education, schools, children, learning, or pedagogy.

These career bureaucrats are dumbing-down the public education curriculum to align with their own narrow, blinkered view of the world, rather than providing the leadership required to construct vibrant and innovative learning environments in our schools.

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The Mobile Revolution

August 1, 2009

brick_mobileI could also have titled this post “Bypassing the Blockers” – because that’s where this is heading in schools.

I recall watching a TV news item in the mid 1980s where Telstra (a local telco provider) setup a launch of their “new” mobile technology. Analogue then of course.

A TV identity, at a podium in front of the Sydney Opera House, made a mobile phone call to another person who was on top of the Opera House.

The equipment they were using was big, bulky and expensive – each handset was the size of two house bricks and cost about $4000 – but it was the beginning of a communications revolution.

At the time though – and we are only talking about the mid 1980s here – none of us in the education sector quite understood what the impact on communication in our society might be.

And it is clear that many ICT administrators in our education systems still don’t understand the impact of these technologies, or the possibilities that they offer. Read the rest of this entry »

Relevant and Meaningful?

July 25, 2008

Our local Education authority purchases software site licenses for every school, so that all children can use Microsoft Office in the classroom.

At the same time, our Quality Teaching model espouses learning environments where childrens’ learning experiences have “significance”.

How significant is Microsoft Office in the lives of the children in our schools?

For that matter, when was the last time any of our teachers used Microsoft Office for a non-work-related activity?

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IWB – The Emporer’s New Clothes?

July 7, 2008

As ICT-aware educators, we are always looking for opportunities to embrace and integrate new and emerging technologies in our classrooms.

Adopt and adapt.

But what if the new gadget turns out to be a dud? How long do we persevere before we make a professional decision that the new gadget isn’t promoting quality teaching?

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The Tail Wagging the Dog – Again!

April 30, 2008

Rational and informed planning has never been the forte of large bureaucratic organisations.

The planning agenda is more often driven by political and budget considerations, rather than the needs of the “client”.

This has been clearly demonstrated yet again by the NSW DET’s proposed implementation of the Federal Government’s Digital Education Revolution initiative.

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ICT Planning – Where do we Start?

February 23, 2008

My Dad used to manage a factory that made aluminium windows.

Each month an old fellow, named Cec, would drop by in his ute to buy any windows that had been deemed to be “seconds” – windows that had been damaged in production, made to the wrong size or colour, etc.

As a youngster, this intrigued me – what was he doing with this stuff?

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