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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.

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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Well May We Say “Advance Australia Fair” 24 June, 2010

Posted by paralleldivergence in elections, Internet, My Thoughts, Politics, voting.
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10 comments

…because NOTHING will advance Julia Gillard. As the Australian Labor Party prepares to vote in the country’s first ever female prime minister, I’m waiting for Kevin Rudd to come out with a quotation for the history books, but I doubt he’ll be echoing Gough Whitlam’s infamous and nonsensical quote from his dismissal in 1975.

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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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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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Swing with Me… Please? 23 March, 2007

Posted by paralleldivergence in Brad & Phil, debnam, elections, iemma, Life, My Thoughts, NSW, Politics, voting.
7 comments

Most democratic nations hold open elections regularly – usually every three or four years. Most democratic nations also only have two major parties vying to form government. As democratic nations mature, the two major parties tend to move from a traditional left-wing/right-wing battle to an almost converged state where on many platforms there is little to distinguish the parties.

Swinging voters

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OLPC: The Revolution Begins? 17 February, 2007

Posted by paralleldivergence in Brad & Phil, children, education, ICT in Education, Internet, Life, My Thoughts, OLPC, Politics.
23 comments

In February 2007, the first of almost 2,500 “$150 Laptops” will be rolled out to school children in the poorest areas of Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay, Nigeria, Libya, Rwanda and Cambodia. The ambitious “One Laptop Per Child” (OLPC) project was first devised in January 2005 with the concept of producing an affordable laptop computer specifically for the poorest and most-remote children in the world. Just two years and several prototypes later, the impressive lime-green and white “Children’s Machine” dubbed the XO is almost ready for mass-production.

OLPC

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Where is Humanity for A Girl Like Me? 27 January, 2007

Posted by paralleldivergence in children, education, Life, My Thoughts, Politics, racism.
13 comments

When people run a project, an essential part of the success of that project is ongoing review. What did we do right? What did we do wrong? What could we have done better? Those evaluations and recommendations then must be applied to future projects to ensure progress. Why as a society would we not apply that same concept to our children? While it is our job to teach children, we must also listen to them and learn from them.

racism

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How Saddam Killed the Death Penalty… 5 January, 2007

Posted by paralleldivergence in Brad & Phil, Death penalty, education, Life, My Thoughts, Political Correctness, Politics, Saddam.
19 comments

As Saddam was hanged and his images were flashed around the globe, the reverberations of opposition to the Death Penalty quickly followed. It is so ironic that it has taken the death of such a murderous tyrant to raise the howls of complaint over capital punishment. These were not protests to save Saddam. These were protests to make sure Saddam was the last “legal execution” carried out by modern Man.

Death Penalty World Map 

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