My Thoughts on Technology and Jamaica: Why Tablet in School Rollout in September 2016 means Contractors and Kinesthetic Content coming

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Thursday, June 23, 2016

Why Tablet in School Rollout in September 2016 means Contractors and Kinesthetic Content coming

“Let me state here and now that the Tablets in Schools project is here to stay ... but it is time to move out of the pilot phase”

Minister of Science, Energy and Technology, Dr Andrew Wheatley, speaking on the TIS (Table in Schools) Project rollout plans

The TIS (Table in Schools) program is back on track.

This as a comprehensive audit will be done of the TIS Project with an aim to have a full rollout come September 2016 as noted in the article “Government To Fully Roll Out Tablet In Schools Programme”, published Wednesday June 22, 2016 by Jovan Johnson, The Jamaica Gleaner.

Minister of Science, Energy and Technology, Dr. Andrew Wheatley, made this declaration during his presentation on Tuesday June 21st 2016 during the 2016/17 Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives. In his presentation, he promised an ending of the pilot phase of the TIS Project with a full rollout for September 2016.

He didn't give any details on the planned audit as well as his TIS Project rollout plans, only stating that it would be a continuation of the same project that Minister Phillip Paulwell had started as detailed in my blog article entitled “Tablets in Jamaican Schools by September 2014 – E-Learning Project II Public Education Campaign needed to be successful”.

Tablet in School Rollout in September 2016 – More Contractors and Kinesthetic Content Needed

So far some 25,000 tablet have been distributed under the TIS Project.

Teacher colleges such as the University of MICO have gotten Tablets as part of their teacher training curriculum as explained in my blog article entitled “How Teachers' Colleges getting TIS Project Tablets heralds Projectors and Interactive Whiteboards for Engaging Teaching”. 

The previous Minister of Science, Energy and Technology, Phillip Paulwell, had done an audit of the TIS Project which had give the program high marks and had extended it to June 2016 as explained in my blog article entitled “Audit of Jamaican TIS Pilot Project - Why Minister of Technology, Phillip Paulwell extended to June 2016”.

That audit has spotted the following problems that the current Administration has to address:

1.      Ability to access non-educational sites and adult content
2.      Students changing passwords and codes to avoid parental interference
3.      Restricted access to downloading of content and applications

Dr. Wheatley promised more details in the coming days. This may include announcement relating to:

1.      Contractors to supply Tablets
2.      Contractors to built out ICT Infrastructure i.e. Wi-Fi Hotspot
3.      Contracts for Content Providers i.e. Animation and Video Game content

The other contractors relating to Tablets and ICT Infrastructure may also be required to also demonstrate the capacity to full repair the tablet locally instead of singing them abroad to be repaired. They'll have to also demonstrate a more proficient protection system to prevent children from being able to access content that is banned i.e. pornography websites and Social Media Website. More importantly, Contracts for Content Providers i.e. Animation and Video Game content.

Already, there is one such example; the Ackee Walk program produced by Emprezz and Stephen Golding as detailed in my MICO Wars blog article entitled “Emprezz and Stephen Golding's Ackee Walk Animates Digital Natives Saturday Morning”.

In short, expect more Contractors and Kinesthetic Content Providers as the Education system is gearing up for a major shift.

This time, I'm hoping that the Ministry of Science, Energy and Technology will also be extended to the Spanish Town High School along with improvements in the IT Infrastructure i.e. Wi-Fi Hotspots as pointed out in my blog article entitled “Why Spanish Town High School should have Tablet in School Project with Homework Rooms”.

Hopefully, the Ministry of Science, Energy and Technology can also find a way to use the Telecom Cess and Gasoline Cess to provide Laptops and Printers to Teachers as well as additional Solar Power for school such as Spanish Town High, which are more than deserving of such amenities.

   
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