6. Make a big bet on an unproven technology (especially one based on a closed/proprietary standard) or single vendor, don’t plan for how to avoid ‘lock-in
Let’s acknowledge that the speed of technological changes almost always outpaces the ability of educational planners to keep up. In response, some policymakers seek to get ‘ahead of the curve’ by placing large bets on new, largely unproven technologies in an effort to ‘leapfrog’ what is happening in other education systems. In other cases, education systems effectively outsource most of the capacity to manage activities in this area to a vendor or other third party. There are potentially valid reasons to pursue such courses of action in some cases, but they are inherently very risky, especially if clear plans are not made on how to ‘exit’ such decisions and relationships.
I also read through an article by Tony Vincent on Apple’s app volume purchasing agreement (which is a necessary step for supporting large amounts of ipads in a school). The ultimate conclusion he made wasnt very positive about the process saying it was ‘confusing and frustrating’.
I have never been a fan of the rush to flood a school with Interactive White Boards and applying that same cynicism to ipads I still think they could be potentially good devices, but in light of the point above on making big bets on unproven technologies from single vendors and difficulties with Apple’s volume purchasing agreement I think not rushing for ipad’s is a good idea! Other schools may trumpet their flashy new tablets but I think a school which waits a bit is a wise school.
So what should they wait for?