Mattison, Jacob on Fri, 5 Sep 2003 12:04:07 -0400

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RE: [PLUG] Microsoft Run High School?

Not to cast aspersions on high school students (hey, I was one once, and not
much has changed) but isn't there an awfully strong possibility that a lot
of these tablet PC's, wireless-equipped PDA's, and so on, will get dropped,
sat on, spilled on, stolen, pawned, hacked, used to download porn and
copyrighted music, and otherwise lost or misused?  Will Microsoft replace
them?  Or do those students then miss out on being able to download their
homework or whatever?

Also, I'd expect to see them either 1) set up important systems like
delivery of homework to be dependent on the technology, which will
eventually break in some way and prevent learning; or 2) set up important
systems to have two ways to do things, technological and traditional, of
which the traditional approach will always be used.

My point is that if you want _every_ user to adopt a new approach, you have
to _make_ them do it -- but you can't afford to make it mandatory until you
have the bugs worked out.  Catch 22, which can be avoided by 1) testing
things on small groups before rolling them out to everyone, and 2)
incrementally changing certain limited procedures rather than suddenly
rolling out an entirely new approach.  The alternative, which is commonly
chosen, is to have lots and lots of extra tech support for the first couple
of months -- or to see productivity (or learning, in this case) grind to a

My guess is that this will actually turn out to be a regular school with a
few extra computers and more email usage than normal.  Sorry to be
pessimistic. :)


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