Connection is the key

From Mark Pesce:

Connection is expensive, not in dollars, but in time. But for all its drawbacks, connection enriches us enormously. It allows us to multiply our reach, and learn from the best. The challenge of connectivity is nowhere near as daunting as the capabilities it delivers.

From Will Richardson:

…we as educators need to reconsider our roles in students’ lives, to think of ourselves as connectors first and content experts second.

From Stephan Lehmann IT Director at International School Bangkok:

Stephen and I were talking about how ISB has tackled the increase use of the Internet the other day when he started talking about the doubling of bandwidth that he has made as part of the budget.

2004: 512kpbs
2005: 1000kpbs (1MB)
2006: 2000kpbs (2MB)
2007: 5000kpbs (5MB)
2008: 10,000kpbs (10MB)
2009: 20,000kpbs (20MB coming in January)

“You can’t hide behind the tree” he said, “We have to keep the connection at school as relevant as the connection at home.”

Yes, it does cost a lot of money…more money then I’m sure I really want to know. But you know VoiceThread works great here, teachers can Skype anytime they want. Our school does not block any social websites and in fact started their own YouTube channel.

If we want schools to stay relevant in a digital age they need to keep pace with the changes in society. We’re also limited here in Thailand with the bandwidth that is available in the country, but as the country expands its infrastructure we’ve kept pace as a school. It’s not hard to do it, it just needs to be a priority.

Bandwidth is the number one budget line within the Tech. Dept. and comes in as a top budget line at the school level…and we’re not stopping. Stephen is already preparing to get quotes to double it again next year. “We have to….education demands it.”

And that my friends is the relality of schools today.

2 Comments

  1. Hi Jeff,

    I’ve always said you can’t be too rich, too thin or have too much bandwidth. However at some point the cost/benefit ratio doesn’t work. We’ve quadrupled our speed in the last few years and still max out during busy times.

    If your school hasn’t done it already, consider purchasing a packetshaper device that allows the prioritization of protocols and sites. It’s helped our district a lot.

    All the best,

    Doug

  2. Absolutely. Connection, communication, and even creativity are digital media at its best and the key to reaching this age of students. The future is going to be interesting to see who schools and those in charge respond to digital media…

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