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The Failed Revolution? 23 February, 2013

Posted by paralleldivergence in education, ICT in Education, Politics.
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4 comments

I’ve posted several articles here about Kevin Rudd’s/Julia Gillard’s Digital Education Revolution, from its ambitious inception through to one state’s innovative interpretation of it, and ultimately its relegation to national folly status.  Then I read Greg Whitby’s latest article.

gregwhitby

I tried posting a comment on the Australian Teacher Magazine’s guest article last night, but comments are moderated because their teachers and readers can’t be trusted to comment professionally, and I just can’t allow Mr Whitby’s post to stand without any visible responses.

I’m so sorry that other states and educational jurisdictions did not have the foresight back in 2007/8 to realise that the Federal Government’s original funding plan for computers to allocate to students alone was never going to be “revolutionary”. The $2.3B plan was flawed from the start and every state should have challenged the Federal government to deliver a viable end to end solution rather than something that might sound good to voters. You can’t get value from PCs if they are not connected to the Internet and if they don’t have local technical support. And most importantly, you can’t use them effectively as a teaching and learning tool without targeted professional development for teachers.

That’s exactly what the NSW Government of the time did through the strong recommendation of the NSW Education Department. They actually directed all public high schools in NSW to boycott the first year’s funds (something that was totally unheard of!) until the Federal government finally relented and agreed to a further $550M to also fund managed wireless in every single learning space, a full-time in-school Technical Support Officer for every high school and funding to allow for necessary ongoing staff development each year and the creation of relevant and practical resources. In addition, the NSW Government understood how critical it would be that every high school teacher also has their own laptop computer and funded that purchase themselves.  All of this was done to ensure that that state’s version of the Revolution could have the chance to actually be successful and revolutionary.

The DER NSW project is now in its 5th and unfortunately, final year. Did its legacy deserve to be described as Greg Whitby did? Hardly. It’s worth looking at a real academic evaluation of the program before judging it as “an initiative of its time”. The NSW Government arranged for such research and has proudly posted it all for the world.  That’s why “the New South Wales Government (is) seeking a funding guarantee from the Commonwealth to replace outdated computers”, Greg.

Corporate IT Support and the 21st Century User 9 November, 2011

Posted by paralleldivergence in ICT in Education, Internet, technology.
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8 comments

TRADITIONALLY, ICT Support is a regimented service, based on providing known or predictable support for a limited range of products in a carefully structured business environment. Users are supplied with access to standardised hardware systems and applications that have been approved in the standard operating environment and their range of access is limited according to their status. When they are faced with a problem (aka ‘incident’), they are usually directed to one recommended path to gain ICT support, but often they have a negative perception of it – too arduous to report and too long to wait for action, leading to a view that ICTs are too unreliable to use.

Courtesy: The IT Crowd

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The Digital Education Real Illusion 18 July, 2011

Posted by paralleldivergence in education, ICT in Education, Internet, Politics, technology.
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22 comments

THE PROMISE. The challenge. The delivery. The difference. The Australian Digital Education Revolution was rightly heralded as a real gamechanger in school education nation-wide. When Kevin Rudd as opposition leader proclaimed, “This is the toolbox of the 21st Century” while holding up a laptop computer and  subsequently promised access to a computer for every student in years 9 through 12, we knew this was something big. This truly was an Education Revolution.

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Selling Yammer in NSW DET 28 January, 2011

Posted by paralleldivergence in education, ICT in Education, Internet, yammer.
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11 comments

The New South Wales Department of Education and Training (NSW DET) is the largest education authority in the southern hemisphere catering for over 755,000 public school students across more than 2,200 schools. A further 504,000 students are enrolled in TAFE courses across 135 colleges in the state. Add to that 10 regional offices and TAFE administration centres and a similar number of state offices, and it can be clearly seen that staff are massively siloed – thousands of islands all trying to do similar jobs. The logistics of professionally supporting such a diverse staff on an ongoing basis are mind-blowing.

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iPad Changes Everything 2 June, 2010

Posted by paralleldivergence in apple, education, ICT in Education, Internet, ipad, Life, technology.
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24 comments

Every so often an invention comes along that is a game changer. Most of the really good ones like the Wheel, Electricity, Light Bulb and Plumbing pre-date me, but I am fortunate to live in a time where the rate of progress now is such that I can witness many of the newest breakthroughs first-hand. Arguably, the Apple iPad is one of these breakthroughs.


Image courtesy of philderksen

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How many light bulbs does it take to change teaching? 3 January, 2010

Posted by paralleldivergence in education, ICT in Education, Internet, My Thoughts, technology.
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54 comments

Everyday my email inbox alerts me to at least one teacher who has become a new follower on Twitter. Now while I’m definitely not the best ed-tech guy in Twitterland to follow, I like to think that for each of those emails, a light bulb has switched on somewhere and a teacher is working to change, or at least keep up with the change that’s continually going on all around them.


photo courtesy of purplemattfish

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You Better Start Swimmin’ or You’ll Sink Like a Stone 4 September, 2009

Posted by paralleldivergence in education, ICT in Education, Internet, Life, My Thoughts, Politics, technology.
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21 comments

Today I “attended” an educational technologies conference. Well sort of. I wasn’t there, but then again, I was. IWBnet’s “Leading a Digital School” conference was on at the Gold Coast in sunny Queensland and while I was unable to be a delegate at the venue, I had the next best thing. Many of the delegates who were there, were happy to instantly share their experience with the rest of the world via Twitter.

visibletweets
Relive the IWBnet Conference via Visible Tweets

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Is this Technically the Best 1:1 Rollout in the World? 20 August, 2009

Posted by paralleldivergence in education, ICT in Education, Internet, Life, My Thoughts, NSW, technology, windows.
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15 comments

October 20, 2007 - Australian Opposition Leader, Kevin Rudd is on the election campaign trail making a promise that made state governments, educational authorities and teachers shudder in their boots. While holding up a laptop which he referred to as “the toolbox of the 21st Century“, he promised to provide a computer to every high school student from grades 9 through 12. Then he became Prime Minister and the pressure was really on, because while he would provide the funding, the Federal Government does not control school education and would not be responsible for implementation - the individuals states would.

KRudd's Toolbox

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Which Teachers Should get a T1 Laptop? 26 June, 2009

Posted by paralleldivergence in education, ICT in Education, technology.
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68 comments

The initial rollout of Laptop Computers as part of the New South Wales Digital Education Revolution is pretty clear-cut when it comes to students – ALL year 9 students will get one this year.  But when it comes to teachers, the T1 rollout sees high schools receiving enough to cover only one-third of their staff. This begs the question, which teachers should get a T1 Laptop?

 T1laptops

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Lifelong Learning is NOT a 9 to 5 Job 14 June, 2009

Posted by paralleldivergence in education, ICT in Education, Internet, Life, technology.
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12 comments

Late last year I attended my son’s high school graduation where speech after speech espoused the knowledge and skills that the Class of 2008 have gained over their thirteen years of schooling. As the students prepared for the next phase of their lives, it was heartening to hear that they all had been instilled with the fundamentals of lifelong learning. I wish.

lifelonglearning
Image by Tragicomedio

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I, Cyberbully. 29 May, 2009

Posted by paralleldivergence in education, hell, ICT in Education, Internet, Life, My Thoughts, pranks.
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5 comments

I’m not sure I quite remember when and how it started. He was just another boy in my class. But it seemed that everything he did just grated on me. No, I don’t want to listen to your music. Hell, that’s a stupid haircut. Put your hand down and shutup for god’s sake. I’m gonna say something to him.

cyberbully
image by Jeff Weston

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What ICT Teachers Think… 20 May, 2009

Posted by paralleldivergence in education, ICT in Education, Internet, My Thoughts.
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10 comments

EVERY School Term for the past ten years, in conjunction with my team, I have been running Information Days for school ICT Coordinators. Over 250 teachers representing over 200 public schools consistently come to find out the latest information relating to ICT in school education in our little part of the world. Now while I’m usually the one passing the latest news onto them, I often like to ask them what their point of view is – that is, being a school educator that uses ICT in the classroom, or in other words, being a minority within the teaching faculty.  Here’s what some of them have told me.

ictteachers1

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Still Waiting for the Revolution… 26 January, 2009

Posted by paralleldivergence in education, ICT in Education, Internet, NSW, Politics, technology.
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7 comments

Date Log: January 2009. Still waiting for the revolution.

Australia’s Digital Education Revolution is coming. Even before it started, it was identified that the $1.2 billion promised was not going to be enough, so now with the injection of a further $807 million, Educational Authorities across the country are investigating hardware options including laptops and wireless connectivity. But Dr Alan Kay is still not convinced that this will be the revolution our children need.

alankay

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“Clickers” or “Virtual Clickers”? 8 January, 2009

Posted by paralleldivergence in Brad & Phil, education, ICT in Education, technology, windows.
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4 comments

For a few years now, Personal Response Systems (PRS) and Student Response Systems (SRS) have been making major inroads into classrooms and lecture halls, particularly in Universities and Colleges.  These “clicker” systems literally put engagement, motivation, participation and instant feedback into the palm of each student’s hand.

clicker

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…in my Spare Time, I write Software. 17 August, 2008

Posted by paralleldivergence in children, education, games, ICT in Education, Internet, TV Shows.
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5 comments

That’s what I’ve been doing lately instead of writing more articles here at Parallel Divergence. So I thought I’d share with you my latest hobby project. It’s called Stu’s Double Jeopardy! version 3.1 – and as usual, it’s completely free for anyone who wants it.

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