The Sum of ITs Parts

Image of Dr. Lyndell St. Ville- ICT Consultant
By Dr. Lyndell St. Ville- ICT Consultant

TWO weeks have gone since the annual observance of Teachers’ Week, held under the theme, ‘Teaching in Freedom: Empowering Teachers’. But lasting lessons remain for us all because something special happens in classrooms and learning environments. The loosely-assembled pieces of student data are carefully coordinated into an organized structure that we can recognize as learning.

The skill, attention, and interest of the teachers, especially in a conducive learning environment, provide the catalyst that helps convert the raw student ore into valuable learning and education. Remove any ingredient and the entire process is affected. All must be present for the learning process to transform the students. Teachers deserve our full respect since, like midwives, they participate in the birth of knowledge in the classroom.

Outside the formal classroom, sadly, we appear to be forgetting or not applying the knowledge that was once learned — especially knowledge gleaned from the mistakes of others — in a glorified orgy of ignorance where we rinse and repeat past mistakes.

The world of ICT is not immune from this observation, either, since it shares some similarities with the above teaching example. Without a display, a system unit (“CPU”), and a keyboard, you simply have a collection of IT components. Connect them together, throw in some software and training, then voilà, you have a powerful processing machine ready to crunch numbers at the speed of thought.

We’ve already seen examples of the synergies arising in the classroom and in computer technology, so let’s explore a few others:
• Agricultural land, farmers, crops, and self-production create a breadbasket not a simple harvest;
• Staff, training, policies, and effective leadership create world-class organizations, not simple jobs.

The mistake that we seem to make, however well-intentioned, is the lashing together of pieces for effect, instead of the deliberate and thoughtful assembly to unleash the synergies. For example:
• Issuing school laptops without including WiFi access or charging facilities;
• Composing cluster Cabinets without visible cohesion; or
• Holding app-building sessions without prerequisite requirements gathering.

The challenge remains avoiding combined failure while being justifiably busy with individual piecemeal efforts.

To share your views, contact the author at: www.datashore.net or via The VOICE.

About the Author: Dr.Lyndell St. Ville is an ICT Consultant based in Saint Lucia, offering expertise in data management, systems design, and continuity planning.\

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