Another dot in the blogosphere?

STIC in the mud?

Posted on: March 22, 2010

This isn’t exactly breaking news. But I only just found out that the School Technology Innovation Centre (currently occupied by the Centre of Excellence for Learning Innovation) will be located beside the MxL (which I used to run) right here in NIE.

[source, click screencap for larger version]

So what could I possibly have against it? Not much. I am glad that we will have this venue. It will showcase possibilities (and I hope some realities) that teachers might appreciate.

But I think that every school should be innovating using the resources and within constraints they have. Yes, it helps to have a place to help you think outside the box and to meet other practitioners, but surely any room filled with innovative people can do the same. I think I get some good ideas meeting up with folks in the canteen, hallway or even the restroom. I get the best ideas via RSS, Twitter and Facebook and I can do this anytime and anywhere with my iPhone!

I also think that a centre tends to be viewed as a template to be applied elsewhere. Having been to different schools to conduct workshops for teachers, I am brought to “special rooms” that look and operate like other special rooms. Yes, it helps to have certain layouts and technologies in place, but innovative practices should not be tied to a particular place; they should be transferable elsewhere.

STIC sounds like stick. Some group must have thought itself very creative with the acronym, but it may not have considered the connotation of a stick as punishment (as in the carrot or the stick) or a hindrance (a stick in the mud).

But most of all I object to the “school” in STIC. I think what STIC wants to stand for is technology-mediated pedagogies that enhance and enable better teaching and learning. Why? Currently, the majority of “School Technologies” are far from being innovatively used. Their associated affordances and pedagogies make them sticks in the mud instead. I am talking about rarely or improperly used IWBs. I am talking about death-by-PowerPoint pedagogy.

The focus could instead be on learning and learning technologies. This would then challenge teachers and parents to think about how to create, manage and evaluate learning that takes place anytime and all the time, whether in school or not.

3 Responses to "STIC in the mud?"

I think the “special” room is pretty much unless as it is does not reflect the real classroom setting that most school are now in. People can go wow and fascinated about all this high technology but in actual fact, not many of them actually get to apply/ use it. Schools may have the technology but it is usually hidden in the special room on “for show” status. How many teachers or students actually get to experience the power of the technology?

What I look forward to would be a “how to maximise the available technology you have in your classroom/school” kind of setting, or “using simple tools to enhance available technology”?


Agreed on all counts.

If I have a say in what happens at the STIC, I would emphasize what technologies teachers and students already use, e.g., phones and Facebook. The news report did mention social networking in general and Facebook in particular, so it’s a step in the right direction!

I also think that schools need to push for wireless Internet and iPod Touches (or NOWs, note/netbooks on wheels) in classes. This way every and any room is “special”! For the cost of a full IWB setup per room, every classroom can have a NOW now!


*Nods head in agreement*


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