Friday, January 4, 2008

What are the "emerging" technologies?

I am teaching in an elementary school. I have Grades 3 and 5. I am in Indonesia in West Java in the mountains near Bogor. I teach in an authorized International Baccalaureate School. We are a K-12 school and the fees are around AUS $10,000/year.
We have one Elementary school computer lab with 17 working PCs and 6 Macs. All classes get 2x40 minutes each week and an extra optional time is allowed. Extra time above that must be negotiated and is very limited. There are 2 other labs with only 10 working PCs in them. There are a LOT of broken computers around the school. I counted 30 last time I was on a “Ask-the-principal-to-allow-some-budget-to-fix-up-the-broken-computers” campaign. We have 1GB bandwidth Internet access shared by 500 users. It is slow as we have people bypassing the filter to download music and videos. We use Google Apps for our academic portal because it’s free. Our portal is here

Each classroom in my area has one PC and you can book out routers for wireless access, projectors (there are 3 in my area), digital cameras, handicams and wireless mikes with speakers. In the Senior school most of the students use laptops - but it is not compulsory.
What technologies do you think will become available over the next 2 years?
Hopefully more computers in the classrooms. I am trying to get that to happen! I don’t really agree with having them stuck in a lab. I don’t dare wish for a Smartboard as I can’t see this school going for that. Our school Heads are Gaptek! (Indonesian for technologically challenged)
What technologies do teachers use that students don't use.
The teachers are starting to buy Macs. We have a group of about 12 teachers now. We recognize that Mac has a lot to offer but they are a bit expensive. The teachers update the Googlepages websites but I have just started Grade 5 making their own ones. The teachers are into Facebook and Yahoo Messenger. The children in the Elementary school are not really into those sites.
What technologies do students use that teachers don't use? Most students have PSP and the latest mobiles as well as the iPod touch or at least iPod classic. These kids have a lot of money so there is little that they don’t have.
What technologies do you have in your lounge room that you don't have in your classroom?
We don’t really have a lounge room! There is a meeting room for staff with a fridge and a microwave, but I have made my own ‘middle room’ between the Grade 3 and 5 classrooms. There is a phone, a very old PC and a hot/cold water dispenser. Hardly emerging technologies! I personally have a MacBook Pro, a portable HDD (120 GB) for Time Machine backups, a PDA O2, and an x-mini speaker for my iPod Nano or notebook. I also have a Canon Ixus camera and a Sony Handicam which I really use all the time. Yeah Ok I’m a bit of a gadget freak. School provides very little.