Cameron Evans, Chief Technology Officer, at Microsoft stated at a US Public Sector CIO Summit yesterday (tweeted out by someone else) that:
The big thing in edu, in IT, is that there is no next big thing. There’s a bunch of little things.
I kind of like it. (Side note: This is interesting from a BIG battleship company like MS. That’s a whole big other story and not what this post is about.)
Let’s break this idea down step-by-step. First, let’s assume that “edu – IT” really means Educational Technology or Instructional Technology for teaching and learning. Of course, there’s the other side, the school efficiency technologies. While super important, those usually follow business technologies (reference virtualization, cloud computing, VoIP, and more).
Back to instructional technology (teaching and learning, but more for learning). The thing about this idea is that for little things to be big, the focus has to be in the details. For “it” to be used by people, it has to be good. It has to make a difference and help us learn better, than with out it. I personally believe this idea (see above quote from Evans) IS the case in Education Technology. Call it “consumerization of IT” like the Gartner Group does… Whatever you want to call it, the point is that the power is in the hands of users. Which is really nice, because that is where learning happens right! If we are talking about personalized learning, which we are, then yes this is the big thing. I believe in personalized learning. I believe in personal development > than professional development. So the little things are what works best for the right person in the right situation. Now… the BIGGEST thing of all is how we get all of the little things CONNECTED. It’s not about the Information, that’s important, but it’s old news. It’s about getting us all connected and getting all of the little BIG things connected.
verb [ no obj. ]
2 talk or write at length in a confused or inconsequential way: he rambled on about his acting career.