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Submitted by JoeN on

Hugely valuable post Mike and one which raised a profoundly serious question for me. At the ICEM conference in Turkey a couple of years ago, I was applauded widely when I pointed out to the delegates that however much they tried, however much they invested in ICT, they would always be playing catch up because they could not possibly keep up with the speed at which commercial technology evolves.

The pharmaceutical industry doesn't sell huge amounts of new drugs into markets without first understanding the impact. If they do underestimate the risk, they suffer major reputational and financial consequences. This is not true of the technology industry which actively exploits the advantage of novelty and innovation to sell virtually anything into the educational market, without carrying out any meaningful research about impact.

Additionally one of your bullets struck a real chord with me because I think it is absolutely vital to understand its implications. At a recent meeting I had in the UK's treasury department, about ICT in schools, an intern present made this striking comment. "Everyone at university knows the best teachers are the ones who don't use ICT." My advice to any policy maker working in this field is that if they are at all interested in excellent schooling, then listen to those best teachers. Because as you put it in your own presentation: 'More knowledgeable teachers rely less on "computer assisted instruction"'