Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Tough questions for tech departments

Back in September I wrote a post entitled Is the role of tech director dead?  It's interesting that today I've been reading on in George Couros's book The Innovator's Mindset, and I've come across a section that refers to the role of a school district technology director as obsolete because it inhibits learning.  George asks 4 questions that can frame the work of IT departments:

  1. What's best for kids?  Should we block social media sites or should we educate students to navigate these as we give them the skills to understand how to stay safe online, digital citizenship and the impact of their digital footprint?
  2. How does this improve learning?  Is the software that the school subscribes to designed for learning, or is it simply a business application that comes with a site licence?
  3. What is the balance of risk -v- reward?  Many tech departments want to work in a low or zero risk environment, hence various websites are blocked.  Can the message that we trust students bring its own reward?  Teachers need to be able to articulate the rewards of technology.
  4. Is this serving the few or the majority?  When we decide on a policy, is this for the many who use technology wisely, or for the few who may misuse the technology?
Photo Credit: Scott Beale Flickr via Compfight cc

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