Saturday, November 15, 2014

What if...

Are there any more powerful words than the combination of "what if..." in the English language? These two words gave us the airplane, transistors for TVs, the first computer, the printing press (okay, that was long before American-English but you get the point).

So, I ask some "what if..." questions.

What if we had one internet browsing language?
I get tired switching from browser to browser. Our student information system "likes" one browser. Our website "likes" another. Our streaming announcements system "likes" another and doesn't work on anything else. Internet Explorer, FireFox, Safari, Chrome, Dolphin.....what if?

What if the internet were free?
Why do internet providers charge so much for data access? At any point in history, the value of knowledge has been priceless. With instant access to anything and everything, why is it that ISPs put a hefty pricetag on data? Cell phone companies put caps on data. Cable providers put caps on speed. Satellite charges exorbitant prices. If you live in urban areas, you are fortunate to have many choices. If you live in rural areas, good luck.  Free universal internet access...what if?

What if educators were on the forefront of technology initiatives?
Budget restraints, legislative mandates, public opinion, and even technology manufacturers all throttle educators' access to technology. Fear of change and administrative mandates keep teachers from trying new things. Schoold are initiating 1:1 programs and the students in the poorest of the poor districts are coming to school with better technology skills and equipment than the teachers have. Unfrotunately, too many educators wear the badge of digital immigrant with too much pride. They could change the world if they were on the forefront; but only...what if?

I have lots of other what if questions, many not related to educational technology; but I will have to ponder them later.

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