Negotiating #edtech Capacity versus Information Task

Another common negotiation is between the available capacity and the nature of the information task in the curriculum. In situations in which the complexity of the information task is beyond the capacity of the devices, teachers may reconcile the complexity of the tasks with the capacity of the devices. Consider video editing, which is a task that can be completed on a range of levels. While Internet-only devices may be sufficient to access and a web-based video editing system, those systems provide far less video editing capacity than a full video editing application. (These limits include the length of the video that can be produced, the options for editing it, and the resolution of the final product.) Especially as students gain experience and seek to create longer and more complicated video products, the browser-based products will be insufficient.

Teachers must decide when their students and their goals have extended beyond the simple tools and full applications are necessary. This negotiation is informed by the nature of the students, the goals of the video project, and the availability of the full devices (which might be shared among many teachers).

IT managers must recognize that the information tasks teachers anticipate including in their lessons are likely to become increasingly complex over time. As teachers’ and students’ skill increases, they will expect to include greater capacity more frequently. A solution that provides low levels of complexity, but that can be accomplished with minimal capacity may prove insufficient as skill increases. Efficacious IT managers will respond to changing levels of expertise in teachers and they will also attempt to be proactive by anticipating need and encouraging teachers to participate in IT planning.