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For those of you who haven’t heard of BYOD yet within the Australian education or corporate spheres, it stands for ‘Bring Your Own Device’, and it is the next big step in establishing the technological revolution of education within our schools. The integration of devices into schools is not an entirely new concept, with the OLPC (One Laptop Per Child) program which has been around since 2007 being a multinational organisation now (including involvement by Australia). This program in general has been met with widespread criticism in the U.S after the abandonment of the program by one executive, and the obvious environmental issues such as maintenance and safety of a laptop within a school environment. For those of you who are familiar with the slow and often frustrating changes in the methods of delivering education, this all comes as no surprise.
Victoria's 'The Age' reports a serious mismatch of employee reward and budget allocation in an article today which outlines the millions which education executives are being paid, whilst redundancies and program cuts are rampant elsewhere. Most prominantly, cuts made to literacy and numeracy coaching within school programs does not seem to be put to good use, with millions of dollars more (as reported in government released data) to be used on overseas travel, meals and accommodation.
A number of technologies, particularly which aim to be compatible with a high volume of users, are marketing their services and products as “minimal learning curve” products. The same is true of online user experiences, where websites promise a two minute tour of the website, or a 30 second tutorial video. Our team at AVT are all about emerging user compatible technologies, using a number of software programs and online databases which self-generate reports and recognise typical user errors within half an hour of using the product. New mind-mapping technology that has been available on the global market for some time promises users almost an immediate understanding of the software and associated processes. It is true that being described as a near ‘zero learning curve’ product is a powerful and impressive claim, however it begs the question: is this developing the trend of user convenience, or is it removing our ability to design and create our own user experience?
On the 20th April, Absolute Value Tuition stopped past the Careers Exhibition in Perth to have a chat to presenting tertiary institutions and check what was next in education for Western Australia.