Planning Good Change - Page 27 - Next Page

First Things First

4. Evidence of Use

Can we be sure the technology is used frequently in ways which support our goals?

  • Is there a system to keep track of utilization trends and rates in each building?
  • Is there a clearly stated expectation about utilization rates?
  • Is there a planning mechanism to keep utilization "on the table?"
  • What happens if utilization falls below expectations?
  • Are all staff expected to do "their fair share?" How are these expectations expressed and then monitored?
  • Are the expectations written into curriculum documents as required learning experiences?

Tilting toward Utility

Without a strong curriculum focus, network design criteria will tend to center around the following criteria and issues:

Efficiency - How well does data flow across the network?
Speed - How quickly does the network handle the data tasks assigned to it?
Reliability - Can users count on the network to be operating without interruption?
Security - Are data transmissions safe from outside intrusions and interference?
Cost - Does the network operate within a reasonable budget?
Low Maintenance - Does the network perform its tasks without requiring frequent technical support interventions?
Transparency - Does the network operate in the background without requiring user awareness of network functions and protocols?

Unfortunately, a focus on these utilitarian issues can seriously damage the prospects for curriculum rich use of networks, as the design may be shifted away from what actually works for teachers. The very features that are most important to teachers . . . flexibility, portability, frequent use and relatively open, user-friendly systems can seem threatening to network supervisors who might see heavy traffic and open access threatening to undermine performance and stability.

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Credits: The photographs were shot by Jamie McKenzie.
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