“Why must we carry on always singing the same old song?”

“Why must we carry on always singing the same old song?” So sang The Creation back in the 1960s (and may I add than whilst I may be advancing in years I am not yet quite advanced enough to remember if from that time). The words are ringing in my ears now mainly as a result of extended email exchange over the weekend around the use of <insert name of online learning technology here>.

Having identified an opportunity for using <insert name of online learning technology here> to support students with persistent absence and other school-refusing tendencies (a use which, I hasten to add, I fully support), some of my esteemed colleagues decided that every student in the school would benefit from also knowing about <insert name of online learning technology here>. Assemblies were hurriedly arranged and aforesaid colleagues displayed slides of how wonderful <insert name of online learning technology here> could be. Little cards were distributed to all students with login details and everyone (well, aforesaid colleagues at least) emerged delighted with the potential of <insert name of online learning technology here> to Raise School Attainment.

Here’s the thing though: as a school we do not have the hardware capacity to effectively embed <insert name of online learning technology here> as a part of the day to day learning habits of our students or our staff. There is no whole school strategic plan to leverage the potential of <insert name of online learning technology here> and there is no whole school strategic plan for this because we do not have the whole school hardware capacity…

Yet despite there being no whole school strategic plan for the implementation and use of <insert name of online learning technology here> the same aforesaid colleagues have suggested our Computer Science team surrender some of their already hard-pressed curriculum time to, and I quote, “check that all year 7, 8, 9 and 10 can successfully log in to <insert name of online learning technology here>”. Own contribution to email exchange around this solely based on the question “WHY?”, when there will be limited (if any) opportunities for vast majority of these students to ever login to <insert name of online learning technology here> during school hours (this driven by, you guessed it, fact that school lacks whole school hardware resources for this ever to happen).

Personal sense of frustration amplified by fact that implementation of <insert name of online learning technology here> failed to gain traction when introduced nearly two decades ago in school before being dropped in favour of <insert name of alternative online learning technology here> and subsequently by <insert name of yet another alternative online learning technology here>. All initiatives failed to have significant impact exactly because investment in whole school hardware resources failed to keep pace with need. Which led/leads to failure of staff to commit to effectively using technologies (and let’s face it, why would one invest energy and time in learning something one has limited/no opportunity to use in one’s day-to-day teaching habits?) and so on in a vicious cycle of wasted investment.

Entirely willing to admit this is just another example of Creeping Cynicism, but also suggest that Personal Experience of attempts to implement systems such as <insert name of online learning technology here> Might Just Be Relevant.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s