Content-type: text/html ~ Stephen's Web ~ Vendor-Driven Misperceptions About Web 2.0 in Schools

Stephen Downes

Knowledge, Learning, Community
"Educational technology staff are probably the greatest single enemy of Web 2.0 connectivity and collaborative tools in schools." So says The Education Bazaar, looking at the "misinformation" being spread about these technologies in publications such as Computerworld. Why such misinformation? Well, it could be the companies that profit by it - companies like IBM who want to sell proprietary versions of Web 2.0 technology ("the new Quickr 8, Lotus Connections and Info 2.0 products are part of IBM's new 'Web 2.0 Goes to Work' initiative) and need to scare organizations off the open source stuff available now. Or it could be the people quoted by these magazines, such as Vijay Sonty, not only "CIO for Broward County Public Schools in Sunrise, Fla." and "this year's Withrow Award for Educators" but is also "on the IBM Customer Advisory Panel" and who "says that Web 2.o tools are not ready for schools" - at least, not in comparison to the IBM tools.

"So how does the current vendor - media - district relationship work? Here is one quick example: Microsoft issues a press release touting their Project Management Office (PMO), and quotes Broward's Sonty extensively. This inspires the following Microsoft-centric 'news' article in eSchool News about the same product line. Educational technology leaders around the country read the article, and see that Sonty is an advocate, and that he is running a $100 million department. Orginal Microsoft Press Release - Blueprint for Success - eSchool News Article.

"So, although there is no valid reason to ban Web 2.0 tools from schools, the vendors continue to promote these ideas through careful campaigns of disinformation that influence decision makers in school districts."

Related: The Golden Calf - Commodification of ISTE, by Miguel Guhlin

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Stephen Downes Stephen Downes, Casselman, Canada

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Last Updated: May 21, 2024 10:34 a.m.

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