Innovation – using old things in new ways

Monday, October 11th, 2010 | e-Learning pioneers | Comments Off

The e-pioneer is an innovator.

Innovation is usually associated with the invention of new things.  Unfortunately not all of us are in a position to invent things like the wheel, the light bulb or a cloning technique.  That does not mean we can’t be innovators.

Today innovation is no longer about building something from nothing or designing things that had never been thought of before; rather, it is now about taking existing tools and ideas and applying them in new ways.

The application of technology to the field of education lends itself to this new wave of innovation.

Most technologies, such as computers, cell phones, the internet and many software applications, were invented to serve specific needs of the business world.  Education was the last thing on the minds of the inventors.

The e-pioneer can prove to be a real innovator when new ways are found to use existing technologies in support of education.  This requires a thorough understanding of the barriers to teaching and learning, as well as an in-depth understanding of technology.  The e-pioneer must be well acquainted with both fields in order to find solutions, and must not hesitate to explore possibilities.  Remember, many attempts are necessary before an innovator may hit on a winning idea.

Technology in itself will not make a difference to education – it is its innovative application that has the power to transform dark-age classrooms.

Click here for more food for thought for e-pioneers. 

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When the server in the computer room goes down …

Friday, June 26th, 2009 | ICT in Africa | 9 Comments

The people of Africa are known for their spirit of innovation.  We say, “ ‘n boer maak ‘n plan” – loosely translated, this Afrikaans proverb says that a farmer always comes up with a plan.

But how innovative are we when the server in the computer room goes down?  Owing to a variety of reasons, it often takes an unacceptably long period to get the server going again. During this time the computer facility is not used and curriculum delivery can not take place.

Or is that what we allow ourselves to believe?

Is there a Plan B (B is for boer) that educators can fall back on, so that when the network is down, each individual workstation can still be used by learners in their quest to come to grips with the curriculum?

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