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Friday, July 6, 2012

Computer-i-tist - For Business and Education

The Rock Hill School's Superintendent had 5 students present goals and achievements at the June Business meeting. The students were (in order of appearance); Payton Tate; Jalissa Tindall; Maria Neal; Jonathon Patton and; Ashley Heise. The superintendent gave each student information to be presented and an IPAD to use to present the information. They were charged with using any pictures/video they wanted and to take what they felt was most important to present. I think the superintendent has hit on something I'd like to see more of. What you can't see in the video below, is the students used IPADS to connect wirelessly with the projector.
Click here for a link to the video.
I'm sure the students looked at the board and thought, "those old guys are going to decide if students should get IPADS?"

They really didn't have much to worry about. I've found that older folks, whether on boards or in management, tend to support whatever the technology recommendation is because they do not want to learn about it themselves (a fear of technology). This also applies to any use of computer technology -if it's done by a computer - it must be correct. Years ago we coined the phrase "computer-t-tise" whenever folks would do, or accept erroneous information just because it was on a computer screen.

One of the things I've come to understand - we really don't use technology for so much new stuff. We really do the old stuff in a new way - thus, we don't take advantage of the capabilities technology has to offer. A very big reason is the folks making the decisions don't use/understand the technology themselves.

Let me get back the the student presentation. That was probably the third presentation  to the board utilizing IPADS. None have been presented by an administrator. That might be an issue, but is small in comparison to this example:

Let's take the student presentation - 5 IPADS ($2,500), one projector ($800) and basically a power point equivalent presentation (total equipment cost of $3,300). This could have been done with a laptop ($700) and the projector ($800) with a free Google document app (total equipment cost of $1,500). If you figure in the life of equipment (3 years for IPAD vs 6 for Laptop) the cost for the "latest" technology is over 4 times more.

So, should we  buy new technology? That depends. In the example above, most power points (or equivalents) have been about the same as an overhead projector, and those have been only a little better than colored chalk and a blackboard. I get worried when I hear excitement when someone uses an IPAD just because it is an IPAD. You should get excited by seeing new things in new ways.

If you are in a leadership position, lead with technology, don't hide from it. Demonstrate the new way and demand those under you to do the same.

The three videos below are pretty close to being advertisements for  IPADS.

Click here for a link to the video. Click here for a link to the video. Click here for a link to the video.

Click here for a link to digitial skills teachers of today should be able to grasp.

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