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November 08, 2007


Russel Montgomery


I love this. This could be my theme song.

Jo McLeay

What a clear and coherent laying out of the situation. I enjoyed reading this fairytale (great genre to use for this btw) as many of our schools also see it this way. In our school we even value 'risk taking' as part of innovative learning and that helps us in our workplace to get access.

Russel Montgomery

I'm having a discussion over at
http://tinyurl.com/2ef76d on the use of mini laptops in our school and I have referred to your bit about the big bandwidth monster.

Gary Barber

Its simple get on board or get out of the way. People will find a way to use the technology.

As it is blocked at the desktop students will start to use their own wireless or use mobile phone based services. Next six months to 2 years I expect you will see students setting up personal mesh networks to get around any restrictions.

The rule is simple, don't put up a barrier, as people will just go around you tagging you as irrelevant as they go.

Megan Poore

Great post, Harriet :) What a sensible approach your mob had to integrating technology into the TAFE structure! Very heartening to hear -- I'm going to use it as a case study in clear-headedness when it comes to responding to and implementing change.


Hi Sue
Our network has recently opened up its filters somewhat from a ridiculous lockdown level to where it now even allows for blockages to be reviewed. It has certainly taken a while, after a lot of disattisfaction State-wide. D/K if you might find this of interest, but I touched on some similar themes in a recent symposium (with a library perspective) http://www.alia.org.au/groups/quill/papers/jones.paper.pdf

Michael Coghlan

Great Harriet. You make it almost seem possible. And maybe it is. Thank you.


sensational story, and I'm glad there is a happy ending :)
Hopefully all of our stories can have the same ending :)


The described outcome is certainly possible, but so is far less desirable ones.

Creative Commons style licensing is great, but when your TAFE is competing against dozens of RTOs for students, is giving your IP away for free really viable?

When budgets are tight, is it a good idea to spend large sums on low-engagement student (and staff) entertainment?

When some students are easily distracted and are at TAFE to avoid other mutual obligation activities, is giving them access to a world of off-topic distractions best practice?


Thanks for your comments and it's interesting to get your perspective - thanks.

Just a few comments in response to your post:

- I think teachers are already 'giving away' their IP. The Ed Tech community is using countless tools such as You Tube, Slideshare, Wordle, Wikkis, Jing, Ning etc to create online content. They are doing this as they are not able to create these kinds of creative interactive materials within the constraints of the internal systems.

At our TAFE, staff are creating their own material and re-using others' through these sites. I do think a 'web 2.0' revenue model that allows people to be credited for their work financially would be great - but unfortunately I can't work it out - or I'd be retiring shortly.

I don't think these materials are 'entertainment' they are being used for educational purposes, demonstrations and to allow access to real time, live and creative resources. They are free, and so there is no cost, other than bandwidth. In comparison to purchasing video and audio resources. In many cases, they are using these resources BECAUSE budgets are so tight. Yes, some is used for entertainment, but much is used for learning, and there are viable, simple control tools available to manage this process.

We have simple software available that can allow access to web tools at the discretion of the teacher, or for example can restrict 'chat' tools but allow access to videos. We have found that, particularly with youth at risk, the use of technology has engaged students who would otherwise have disengaged entirely.

Interested to continue the conversation. Harriet

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I think block something is not the solution...well thanks for sharing ..!

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This is a fantastic presentation which captures what technology is all about. Thanks you for sharing and may you have many thought provoking conversations!

Harriet Wakelam

Thank you - look forward to more conversations

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How can we justify letting people look at non-work related videos (clean of COURSE) using OUR bandwidth/resources etc.

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Blocking YouTube a short fairy tale about access, and I think this is really good thing to get for knowledge to gain and make the most of the information for work.

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Actually there are open source social networks that can now be adopted by any school or university. Children see these sites in their home if they want to as all have computer in their room.

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Really very useful though, great technology. Thank you for the post.


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Awesome man..!! Great work..


sensational story, and I'm glad there is a happy ending :)
Hopefully all of our stories can have the same ending :)

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Great article and good research. Do you have a blog or newsletter I can link to?

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