Saturday, May 5, 2007

Other thoughts discussed...

I didn't get a chance to post these yesterday... but some important discussion points are in here.

Regarding home access - is it school boards' responsibility to do more at the policy level to support home access, especially if home access is essential for educational success? One participant mentioned the school computer recycling program, where last years computers are donated to low-income families. A question of open source software was asked... perhaps providing low income families and schools with programs like "open office". A participant noted that Star Office (an open source Office program) is available for free and was widely distributed, however, he noted that people have, what he called "office envy" where parents, students and teachers, have largely rejected the use of this program and prefer to have the "Microsoft" version of the office suite...

It's not only about equal access. It's about the perceptions and attitudes of the teachers and students. One participant noted that a school website is not seen as part of the "Internet" per se by students who access it. Perhaps if the students were allowed to take ownership of the websites and make it their own, it could foster that sense of virtual community surrounding the school that is seen in other virtual community settings.

Using technology in educational settings requires supportive environments and supportive teaching and learning. There is tension between the personalized nature and characteristics of ICT and the systemic characteristics of the education system. One participant noted that the Internet represented chaos into the classroom where the main goal is to create order.

1 comment:

phil said...

Great discussion on Friday. It occurred to me the immense value of enlarging the discussion group. It would certainly have been helpful to have heard from a greater cross section of teachers. Is it possible to open this dialogue in some much larger way to teachers of our Province?
Commendable effort to pull this session together ..... where do we go from here with professional dialogue? Perhaps Michael J. and Boards could support a 'professional IT learning community' development.