In 1999 I joined the predecessor of Kennisnet for the rollout of internet in the educational field. All primary schools, secondary schools and MBO’s got an Internet connection. Of course this gave a huge boost to digital learning. Many schools started creating digital learning materials and organized the content and students. The need for an Electronic Learning Environment (VLE) was soon big. The core of most of the systems was the organization of content and users. Tests and hand-in orders could be taken and figures were inserted, but the essence was organizing people and learning materials.
Simultaneously alongside ELO’s specific systems for taking tests, forums were set up and content was just as often outside as consumed within the VLE.
The organization ran into a VLE a little awry. It proved difficult to get them all teaching colleagues in a standard, there were still plenty of computer illiterates and the rollout of the ELO faltered in many schools. Yes, there was content to students in the ELO, the students sat in groups so that they could work but students soon found other channels. ELO was used sub-optimally.
That’s basically what still playing. Students walk for music teachers and use the latest, hippest (old-fashioned word …) and other students, most frequently used tools. And that changes rather quickly. First, Hyves, Facebook, Instagram and now Snap Chat. What will tomorrow be guessed only.
How do we deal with that in education? Well, the early adopters try to keep at it, they also sit on Pinterest and Snap Chat, they dive straight into the possibilities of Meerkat and are the ambassadors of innovation. However, many others hypes wait and steps in when a system has proven itself.
Exactly there is the crux, how these systems prove themselves then? And are we not often (too) late?
In my opinion should build schools experimental platforms which are used which need to be proven in addition to existing systems that have already been proven. Thus you keep the students involved and the low threshold for teachers. And if you start small with these innovations depends less from. Then you stay as school up-to-date but you do not charge the school with lengthy selection processes which ultimately bring no innovation. This prevents to be too conservative, but you can not hang your school on the great success that has put such a system. In short, try, keep what is good and replaced where it can be improved.
And do support the early adapters, the connoisseurs and enthusiasts!