Thursday, 12 May 2016

As an educational consultant, I try to... (Part 2)

As an educational consultant, I try to predict the future and make sure that we design our schools and prepare our students for this future.  As said by others, it is a future that we have no idea what it is going to be like.  So, how can one effectively predict and prepare without accurate knowledge?  Work with what we know.  We are not in a factory era; we are in an information era.  We need to teach students how to answer questions, not content.  The information age presents way too much information to try to learn it all.  Students need to be equipped with skills that will allow them to find the answers to anything they want to know.
There are twelve points every educational institution and educator must understand to continue to be effective in the future.
The second point is:

Level of Connectivity
The level of connectivity that is necessary to enhance learning by using educational technology in the modern school is measured by what is the best level available.  Good enough is not a term that should ever refer to the level of internet connectivity in schools.  The best available level of connectivity is the only level that is good enough.  High connectivity to the internet can remove the wall of a school and bring the world into the classroom.  It is one of the most important aspects of preparing a school for the future.  The only other element that will have as much impact on modern education is the access to well-trained, world-class educators.  All other trends in this list hinge on the connectivity within the facility.
Most schools in Canada currently has a 10mb line into the building but should aim to increase this as much as possible.  A minimum target should be 100 mbs.  To prepare a school for the future, technology and the internet needs to be seamlessly integrated into the student’s learning.  Technology, the internet and computers cannot be a stand-alone subject which is taught.  These need to be part of every subject and used like the pen, paper and textbooks use to be.  To effectively make this happen, the educators within the building will need to be professionally trained and need to embrace a technological life-long learning approach for themselves.  Technology is ever changing and is doing so at a rapid rate.  Without a life-long learning approach an educator will rapidly become unknowledgeable of the environment in which the students will excel.
Test of the wireless connectivity produced the following results:
In comparison my SaskTel broadband home numbers in Saskatoon are as follows:
Ping 83 ms
Download: 2.56 mbps
Upload: 69 mbps
Ping is the reachability test to measure the round-trip time it takes your computer to send a request and receive an answer from your destination server.
The following chart will give you an understanding as to what is required for different internet activities. (Taken from the US Federal Communication Commission)

Minimum download speed (Mbps)
Web Browsing

Job searching, navigating government websites
Interactive pages short educational videos
Streaming radio
Less than 0.5
Internet phone calls (voip)
Less than 0.5
Watching Video

Standard streaming videos
Streaming feature movies
Video Conferencing

Basic video conference and telelearning

Game console connecting to the internet
Two-way online gaming in HD

For more information contact Darren Cannell Educational Consultant.

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