Posts Tagged ‘internet’
It is almost the weekend and here is something lighthearted.
At the end of 2011, a boy decided to propose to a girl.
Another boy proposed to another girl, but this time the guy used stop-motion LEGO minifigs to make his intentions known.
Stop-motion has been around since movies were black and white. LEGO has been around for about as long. But stop-motion was not something that the layperson could do easily or conveniently. Today we have tools like JellyCam on the Mac and iTimeLapse on the iPhone to make short stop-motion movies.
We really should stop labelling the time we live in as the Information Age as it reeks of consumption. We are in the Creation and Interaction Age!
As a side note, I think that most Singaporeans will have this reaction: Spoil market! All I can say is I am glad that I am happily married and do not have to think of outdoing proposals like these!
A former teacher trainee of mine contacted me recently because she could not believe what she was experiencing in school.
She had just started her teaching practicum and was upset to learn that she could not use her own computer to access the Internet via the school’s network. She emailed me to verify if this was policy.
At the moment it is. A non-sanctioned personal computer cannot be part of the MOE network due to security protocols.
Only full-time teachers might be provided with laptops that are recognized by the network. But to add insult to injury, the teachers are unlikely to have administrative rights to the laptop.
So my former trainee and her personal laptop are in limbo, right? Not always. Some schools provide alternatives like shared PCs or wireless access for personal computers.
The problem lies with a one-size-fits-all approach to providing Internet access even though there are different types of teachers and an assortment of Internet-capable devices.
Take my wife as an example. A few years ago, my wife decided to return to teaching as an adjunct teacher. There are other types of educators: teaching assistants, relief teachers, part-timers, para-educators like counsellors and education service vendors, etc.
While these folks might spend significant amounts of time on school premises, they are not given equal access to the Internet. The schools might be bound by MOE policy or they enforce their own.
These educators and service providers bring their own laptops, netbooks, slates, smartphones and other devices. From a policymaker’s or administrator’s point of view, this is a security nightmare. From a professional educator’s point of view, this might represent untapped learning opportunities.
So what are these educators to do? I recommend they help themselves.
When my wife’s Macbook was not authorized on the school’s wireless network (or when a classroom was out of wifi range), she tethered her iPhone to the laptop in order to show YouTube videos to seed discussion.
So look at what you have first before lamenting about what you don’t. Don’t underestimate the impact of the growing BYOD (bring your own device) movement. If BYOD does not cut it, write a grant to get the funding you need to innovate.
With the grant money you could get a 3G USB dongle plus 3G subscription and a “mifi” device (we have the Huawei and Dlink devices in Singapore). You plug the former into the latter and use the combination to create ad hoc networks for you and your students to use. This can be done anywhere a reliable 3G signal is available.
A final tip: Educate your Head of ICT or align yourself to a progressive one. The ones I have met (and the ones I managed to influence) have found innovative ways to balance security with access.
Eventually policies can change. Guests on the NIE campus can now get wifi access by SMS (see 27 Apr 11 item). UNISIM has an entirely free and public network that is separate from its other networks.
Until policies change, help yourself. Then do something to change backward policies.
Not exactly an infographic and it’s really about the World Wide Web, not the Internet. But the stats are impressive.