Technology Requires Adaptability… and Anticipation

Categories: News, Philosophy
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Published on: March 13, 2012

Adaptation is tough for users. When I migrated teachers from aging Windows XP machines to Apple MacBooks, some of them had a tough time. Now we’re discussing tablets, BYOT options, iPad 1:1s, and similar emerging technologies, and it’s often met with moans and groans.

One person often asks “Why can’t we just stick with Windows?”

Well, that’s changing, too:

Whether we like it or not, we’re seeing desktop and mobile convergence coming from both Microsoft and Apple, and now we have the Android mobile OS in the mix, too. The industry is moving toward a more touchscreen-like, interactive model all around.

And that’s just on the surface! Data is moving from the file servers we’re familiar with to the Cloud and various services. The way these devices interact with our networks and the Internet is changing. Device and profile management is changing.

These things will all be second nature to our students over the next few years, because it will be all they know. If we don’t keep up, we’re going to look like dinosaurs.

The same goes for techs as well as staff. Wired reports a CompTIA survey says most IT guys are ignorant of current technologies. This is unsurprising to me, given I’m constantly having to learn while on the job. I had no formal IT education, but at the time I got rolling on networking we were still wrestling with Windows 98 SE clients and connecting to Windows NT 4.0 Server, both of which are thankfully a distant memory these days.

But adaptation is not enough.

We need to anticipate what’s next. Few believed the tablet market would return, but when the first iPad came out and Android tablets started to appear, savvy districts watched them closely. Now the market has taken off, and some are finding themselves already far behind as administrators start deploying iPad programs.

If our students see value in something, then we’d better be able to accommodate.

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