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Personal notes (part 2): Vendors

Posted on: April 27, 2015

I wanted to explain my rather cryptic tweet about “edu” vendors.

But the more I reflected and wrote, the more I was reminded what angered and saddened me about such vendors.

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So I deleted a very long rant and boiled it down to these.

  1. Vendors often do not speak the language of education and refuse to learn how to listen.
  2. They have many products and a few processes, both often built in a vacuum or on very shallow foundations.
  3. They might have frightening attitudes like these:

In Singapore-speak, they “spoil the market” because they treat schools and educational institutions like a market. But education is not a place to buy or sell. It is a battle zone for the hearts and minds of kids. Unfortunately, some vendors behave like mercenaries.

There is already enough damage done to schools like management systems designed along “learning styles”, content and portfolios behind walls, interactive “white elephant” boards, e-learning systems where “e” stands for emergency or extra instead of enabling learning, misuse of games and gaming strategies, ad nauseum.

This creates and breeds distrust. The causes administrators and policymakers to create more rules to prevent bad behaviour. This creates bigger and unnecessary barriers. This prevents those with ideas that can make a real and positive difference from getting a foot in.


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