A recent RNZ article caught my eye with regard to US EdTech and Aotearoa/NZ Schools/Kura. We all have a relationship with the education system either having been through it and/or watching our children go through it so it is a bit disturbing when we see just how much of a negative impact 'IT Focused' thinking has on the system.
By that I mean the IT Groups within an agency making decisions based on IT interests rather than the Schools and Students and the support structures around that. IT is a very small part of any given enterprises function and yet we take our IT Vendor/Supplier solutions that are very important to IT itself and inflate their relevance into the business. For example Government in NZ has Principles for Service Design that are supposed to cater for all public interactions and yet an agency that will only use MS Word documents (because they're cheap under the MCSSA) to capture or communicate with the Public is assuming that every single member of the public has a licensed copy of MS Word with which to legally respond... and that is not only woefully incorrect but extremely arrogant... and yet it suits IT because they don't have to support multiple formats and therefore they are 'saving costs' which is very much in the news right now.
In a similar vein the MCSSA is touted as 'saving' Ao/NZ millions per year however it is also one of the most anti-competitive contracts I've ever come across. We know from our own experience and that of our children that everyone learns differently and works differently. Some people use tool 'X' for a given task, others prefer tool 'Y' and yet under the MCSSA a subset of tool 'X' and toll 'Y' may be available for 'free' in tool 'Z'... so IT forces the use of tool 'Z' into the business and productivity overall drops because it is not quite as functional as the others... but we don't measure productivity in that sense and continue to spout rubbish from 'Consultants' whose opinions can very easily be traced back to the funding HW/SW vendor that paid for the report. Easy to justify at the IT level but absolute complete and utter bollocks from a business perspective.