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ICT for Schools or Schools for ICT? Print
August 2006

There has been much discussion at all levels about how schools can do better with their ICT curriculum in terms of student learning, teacher training and funding of ICT equipment.  There has also been discussion on how the ICT industry could be expected to help in this process although the results of these conversations have mostly turned out to be complaints and grief!  One seminar at the Tai Tokerau Principals Conference (Day 1/Session 2) will attempt to address these objectives but from a perspective that is considered to be too obvious to be stated and as such is never talked about and applied.  This view is 180 degree away from the traditional view point, and is:  "How do schools contribute to the continuous evolution of our society in terms of information, communication and collaboration, and to the ICT industry as a driver of this aspect of social evolution?"  This seminar will provide a brief history of technology, the current state of technology, and where technology is headed as the background information.  The seminar will attempt to identify some fundamental flaws that have hindered the progress of a real educational agenda and will offer a few hints for principals to take away.

We are living in the "information age".  There is no formal definition of when the information age began with the most convenient criterion being the invention of personal computers that have changed way we do things and improved our use of time possibly by a hundred fold.  The emergence of Google as a search engine is impressive but most people are not aware that Google has a 9 to 1 chance of replacing Microsoft and IBM simultaneously as the de facto leader of the information age within a decade.  Our education system has become more commercialised than previously.  Are we doing better or worse as a result?  ICT provides a good test.  Is ICT a commodity tool for the school or a mechanism now leading the evolution of society?  Why do some schools purchase equipment based on price alone or supplier relationships and ignore the big picture of education?  These questions may be controversial but they are not if we understand the big picture.  Feel free to comment to This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it .