net_cablesAnother posting on IT strategy however this time focusing very much on the infrastructure behind what goes on in the classroom.   In my last posting I mentioned technology implementations such as 3D printing, gamification and 3D projection technologies.  You can read the full posting here.  Within the post I suggested that it was largely impossible to predict how technology would develop in terms of the new technologies which might become available in the next few years.   Since then I have came to reconsider my position a little in that there is one thing we can predict in terms of technology in schools.

Now the reconsideration of my position came about as a result of reading a post from @s_bearden and the included presentation.  You can see her presentation here.    In her presentation titled “Disruptive Education Technology” she makes a number of interesting statements however the particular facts that I found interesting were related to the State Education Technology Directors Associate (SETDA) recommendations with regards the infrastructure requirement of K-12 schools or Foundations Stages through to Secondary for those of us here in the UK.    SETDAs recommendations for internal and external data transmission speeds indicate that they predict a 10 fold increase in requirements in the 3 years between the 2014-15 and 2017-18 academic years.   As far as I am concerned that is quite a significant increase.

This reminded me of an infographic I once saw however can’t quite find at the moment.   The graphic indicated the time taken for radio to reach 1 million users, the time for TV to do the same, the internet, Facebook and finally Angry Birds Space.    The trend which was evident when following the progress of each of the above technologies was the increasing speed of adoption of each new technology.   It took TV 10s of years to do what Facebook did in years and what Angry Birds Space did in days.

So in my earlier posting I was partially wrong.    Although we cannot predict the specific technologies we will be using in the classroom and in the world in general, we can be certain that there will need to be significant spending on the infrastructure required to support the new technologies which may exist.   Our internal network bandwidth including wifi capabilities plus the bandwidth associated with our external connectivity to ISPs will need to increase plus will need to increase at a significant rate if it is to effectively support the increasing use of technology, the increasing consumption of online content and the use of new and emerging technologies as and when they become available.



Author: garyhenderson2014

Gary Henderson is currently the Director of IT in an Independent school in the UK. Prior to this he worked as the Head of Learning Technologies working with public and private schools across the Middle East. This includes leading the planning and development of IT within a number of new schools opening in the UAE. As a trained teacher with over 15 years working in education his experience includes UK state secondary schools, further education and higher education, as well as experience of various international schools teaching various curricula. This has led him to present at a number of educational conferences in the UK and Middle East.

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