Sunday, 21 September 2008
It is Right in front of your nose...SEE?
Ok loath as I am to start getting political and ranty - there comes a time. On Friday I had a great email from Dr Craig Smith from Innovations and Excellence at the Dept. letting me know that we were able to be the only govt school to receive funding for the Powerful Learning Programme run by Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach and Will Richardson. This is a great honour and I am so pleased my school will be able to access this programme and the knowledge it will provide for staff. The funding is fantastic and I have the awesome Jenny Luca to thank for the recommendation.I was so excited about this and I have the holidays to read up about the programme and discuss with others how best to make use of it. Super - love some good news, especially after the excitement of the arrival of our new macs.
I wondered why I have no comments under my new movie after tweeting it a few times to see what folks thought. It was my first real attempt to use iMovie and though very rough and full of poor camera work- because I was so excited I forgot I was filming on several occasions- and I felt I had really started to work it out. But no-one came or those who did , didn't comment. Disappointing I thought oh well.. never mind. But when I think about it it is so tiny in the sea of other peoples achievements and what they are doing. Five laptops in a school of 1200 students - do the math and the techies are having real trouble working out how to add them to the network. Reality check Sue and so I went back to planning how I would make use of them.
Then last night I was chatting to Sue Waters who was bemoaning the inability of twitter to be reliable- a four hour outage- and we chatted about my week. Somewhere in the conversation I mused about the fact that the PLP programme was great but the eternal issue of 'I've run out of Internet money Miss..' would raise its head and she was aghast. Yes our kids have to pay and yes if we do anything substantial eg my use of the amazing Carrot Mob movie (short version below) to discuss optimism and social change and the kids blow all their money on the download and I have students telling they are $7 in the red because of the movie I told them to watch.
YES Susan - THIS is what is stopping adoption of more web 2.0 technology and teaching more than anything else. No the teachers are not slack or luddites, it is just that anytime they stuck their heads out of the sand they failed because the system doesn't allow them to succeed. Students get $2 at the start of the year and they have to top it up all year. Many forget or protest, many parents refuse thinking their child has been playing games or just can't afford it.
I have had conversations with many classroom teachers about this and admin people as well. Our school budget and the plan we have been locked into by the department make it very difficult to change and what might happen if it were made 'free' worries these folk greatly.
So let me know- how does your school fund the internet? Do you students pay a levy? What plan is your school on? I need some solid help here and some suggestions to help change REALLY happen. Thanks to Sue Waters who then posted about this and has made me see what is in front of my nose and really try to do something about it.