Monthly Archives: October 2011

Does your tablet project suffer from shiny ball syndrome?

Every time I see on the nightly news that a local school district is deploying a large number of iPads, it makes me think about the lure of the bin of shiny balls in the toy and hobby shop I worked at as a teenager.  I often wonder, is this iPad deployment carefully thought out or is that deployment going to wind up back in the bin with the other well intended shiny balls

So what does a bin of shiny balls in a toy store have to do with tablet deployments in a school district?  Well cool tech gadgets have a very similiar lure as the shiny balls in the bin.  With enough and the right marketing, the gadgets begin to shine brightly to the point they can  blind the most well intended into thinking they must need it over the technology or gadget they are presently using.  But the problem lies in not knowing and recognizing that the lure of the shine could be both incorrectly directed and brief.

Sure an iPad deployment in 2011 may get you on the local nightly news, an article in the paper and a bunch of PR at a board meeting.  But in the end if the tablets are underutilized or the wrong solution to the problem, you will be doing the equivalent of throwing the shiny ball back into the bin and walking away.

Are you deploying tablets on a large scale this school year or just at the pilot stage?  I like to hear about the apps you plan to run, if your deployment ran into the shiny ball syndrome and any of the other issues you had to address to make your deployment efficient and a success.


We’re back!

Wow I can’t believe it has been over 3 years since I have written a post on this blog.  If it wasn’t for an email reminder from WordPress,  it would have been even longer.

 Looks like my last post was right before the economy tanked and tech budgets began to head south.  Despite the economy,  technology continued to march forward in a rapid pace during those 3 years. Think iPads, Android phones and tablets, private and public clouds, desktop and server virtualization just to mention a few.  Netbooks that were all the rage and on the rise at the time, don’t seem so shiny and new anymore.

With all that is new, new questions arise, such as:

  • How do we roll out tablet tablets and integrate them with the networks we already built?
  •  Is it iPad and/or Android?
  • What tablet apps do we use and how do we deploy them?
  • When it comes to  server virtualization is it VMware’s vSphere or Microsoft’s Hyper-V?
  • How to we roll out “Bring Your Own Tech” in our schools ?
  • and many other initiatives as we move toward blended and distributed education.

So where does that land this blog?  I don’t really know for sure but I think I’ll try to describe the problems I see and ask for your help along the way.  Together we will discover the exciting possibilities and explore viable solutions in these areas together.

As always, still digging.