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  • Andrew T Schwab 11:11 am on May 30, 2013 Permalink | Reply  

    The Culture Of Spaces 

    The Executive Briefing Center. A magical place where customers go to become enamored with products or ecosystems or solutions. Cisco, Brocade, Apple, Google and Microsoft. I’ve been to several of these corporate spaces and I’m struck by the differences of each.

    Cisco’s was over the top impressive. Like visiting OZ. But look behind the curtain and you’ll find a room full of boxes, wires and network engineers making it work. They wowed with the tech but the reality isn’t so nice and clean. Superintendents beware.

    Brocade was very straight forward. Nice facility, down to business. No giant heads or hidden curtains, just good clean big iron hardware. I think they tell it how it is. Tech Directors, ask your questions.

    Apple. Clean and crisp and focused. Just like their products. Polished presentations on point and showcasing the ecosystem. Very tailored to the audience. Impressive, most impressive. CBOs, watch your checkbooks.

    Google. A startup environment with stacks of extra chairs along the wall and round tables. Loosey goosey and organic. Or perhaps just youthful and inexperienced. I have a feeling that the next briefing will be iteratively better and different just like their products. Go back often to stay up to date.

    Microsoft. Winding spaces, with stairs and hallways and doors everywhere. Chaperones in the halls. Almost locked down but not quite. An air of restriction in movement and options. A reflection of corporate culture evident in their products. The space feels like being inside of Windows. I’m not sure who this space is for.

    Interesting to me that the corporate cultures are so reflective in these spaces. How are the spaces in our schools representing school culture and student outcomes and absent billions of dollars, what can we do about it?

  • Andrew T Schwab 5:00 pm on May 29, 2013 Permalink | Reply  

    In A Perfect EdTech World… 

    In a perfect EdTech world, I would give every teacher an ultrabook running Ubermix, an iPad with AppleTV and a Projector or other Large Format Display (LFD) device. Perhaps even two. This would be the basic “Technology Package”. I’d wrap it around Google Apps for Education and the web. Then I’d throw in a classroom set of student devices; Chromebooks, iPads, Ubermixed notebooks, Nexus 7 tablets or BYOD devices and shake well. Windows and Office would be things learned about in history books as part of the first great wave of personal computing.

    Absent too would be printers. The bane of Help Desks everywhere. When everyone has a device, printing becomes a throwback to a different era. A muscle memory that must be excised through conscious and concerted effort. Packaged Curriculum would also be a thing of the past, replaced with teacher generated and curated content, projects, inquiry, search and the web. With a device for every student, they would own their learning, top to bottom.

    Classroom technology doesn’t have to be expensive or difficult or restricted. It doesn’t have to conform to the old business norms of yesterday. It just requires a different way of thinking about education technology and what we want to accomplish in the classroom. Free your OS and the rest will follow.

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