XVII Educational software

The superstructure software tells

  Which officeware you get

With diff’rent whistles and with bells

  An add-on product set


When O S issues are resolved

  Move swiftly to the next

More than just office tools involved

  Those used to process text


Good software of a special kind

  Is now available

With great skill it has been designed

  For learning suitable


These software products now select

  Opt for the ones robust

New life in teaching will inject

  This must be the next thrust


Based on the focus area

  The software one must choose

Led clearly by criteria

  Non starters must refuse


Do look at functionality

   The purpose bear in mind

Must match teaching reality

  Be to the best inclined


When tools have all the fancy bits

  One’s easily misled

Bedazzled by those snazzy bits

  Some poor schools have been bled


There are so many software tools

  Some think they fit the bill

But shelfware they become in schools

  These ones – unsuitable


Beware of vendors who insist

  Their wares are just the best

A pushy salesman do resist

  When he gives you no rest


Be careful with your software choice

  Not all will serve you well

Aggressive vendors with strong voice

  You must with force repel


The problem is to know what’s right

  Which is the one to choose

No victims be of vendors’ fight

  Where one may money lose


The choice on merit must be made

  Not based on what looks good

And never ever be afraid

  To chase vendors who’re rude


New software tools abound like weeds

  These make the vendors thrive

Be mindful of the school’s true needs

  Which must selection drive


A crucial role should vendors play

  They must illuminate

Show how their products pave the way

  Spend time to illustrate


Tell vendors they must demonstrate

  The best of breed they sell

Then leave you to investigate

  And choose those that excel


While on its features concentrate

  – The focus on your school –

Look well think deep and contemplate

  Is this a useful tool


Remember that the teachers are

  In a beginner state

Not I T literate by far

  The learning curve is great


Khanya by no means does imply

  That teachers stupid are

But hist’ry shows one can’t rely

  On vendors’ bid – by far


If it’s the first time round the block

  With this computer stuff

Then one must carefully take stock

  Eliminate the fluff


Will teachers with ease come to grips

  With what you look at now

Or would they need extensive tips

  Have they the right know how


Far better is a single tool

  That one with ease can use

Always apply this special rule

  When software you must choose


The level best at which to pitch

  Is rather low than high

Use software that is content rich

  Choose one that soon will fly


The products that are content free

  From these teachers may turn

Although their value one may see

  They’re difficult to learn


Ask neutral experts for advice

  Let them highlight pitfalls

Look twice and if need be look thrice

  Yes make repeated calls


To nearby schools some visits pay

  Learn from mistakes they’ve made

Absorb and chew on what they say

  Ask much – don’t be afraid


Schools that have trodden this same road

  Of their advice take note

Their guidance will make light your load

  All are in the same boat


Be tempted not to buy a lot

  A sample small will do

Too much software some schools have got

  Buy one or maybe two


At first Khanya made a mistake

  Too much software they gave

Of course schools eagerly did take

  And did like squirrels save


Too many tools tend to obscure

  Productive this is not

So make a point – less to procure

  Make do with what you’ve got


Based on the rule that less is more

  Start with a single one

The learning curve will not be sore

  It even may be fun


One hopes that teachers all will grow

  That in the course of time

As they watch peers who tell and show

  These mentors they will mime


The net mature teachers will surf

  Leave canned software behind

They’ll roam this massive global turf

  Their own content will find


Consider too the software cost

  Since that may be quite high

Great sums of money could be lost

  On an impulsive buy


Take note of the recurring fees

  Which companies may raise

To keep up payments – a tight squeeze –

  Be careful of this craze


The final item in the plan

  – Software that schools select –

Completes all of the project’s span

  The needs of schools reflect


Of course when all’s been specified

  All parties know the way

One thing must still be clarified

  And that is who will pay

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