Can you NYC-me?
I've just joined Alan November at a conference of education leaders in New York City, USA. I've never been and somehow feel that Skype still won't make those traffic fumes, hotdogs and yellow cabs come any closer. The World might Be Flat, but let's not push it ;-) I certainly feel a little closer having taken the most recent photo of NYC from Flickr to post it here. It could almost be a high-rise Venice with all those piles and boats.
As I am working on a Mac I don't have the nice video conference facility, so I hope that this photo of my current environment helps make all those in NYC feel slightly closer to me (I've geotagged it and linked it to Google Earth so that you guys can fly in to see me).
What I mentioned:
Alan, in fact, mentioned briefly the SSDN project, linking all primary, secondary schools, parents, teachers and Local Authorities together on one very high speed intranet. This will allow a lot of the social software that has been developed over the past few years to be legitimised (and to actually work first time) in education. But today we can already see the transformative power of these tools through student blogs, podcasts, wikis and so forth (you can see plenty of Scottish examples here). Just being able to share in a click with all of you in New York is, in itself, transformative.
As someone with responsibility for spending public money wisely, I believe that it is in these tools we must invest and in giving our teachers confidence to hand over the tools' power to students. The money is needed to equip schools with hardware and internet connections, as most of the software is web-based and free. The last motivator, though, is free, and just requires the innovative manager to release it.
My tuppence worth.