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You Underestimate the Power of the Dark Side

James Clay, Group Director of IT at Activate Learning, asks how we can fight the powers of evil, those who have succumbed to the darkness, and those who endeavour to block and stop enlightenment, innovation and creativity.


James Clay treated us to a Star Wars introduction leading to the Death Star support desk. Unfortunately, it seems that Darth Vader upgraded to Death Star 2, bought a new one, moved it and didn’t inform Death Star Services. No wonder it didn’t work!

Who are the light and who are the dark?

The Dark

James suggested that IT Services are often viewed as the dark side, and referred to and Innovation Prevention Departments.

Why do we have this history of people talking about how they would love to do innovative things, but IT services stops them. In his new job as Group Director of IT, James now has an insight into this.

He suggested that one of the reasons IT Services says no is ignorance. They don’t know enough about what you’re asking, and innovation is not in their main field of focus. He also suggested that resources could be a key issue. If you don’t have the staff, skills, capability and capacity, the easy solution is to say no. Finally, he suggested that fear can play a big part – a fear of getting it wrong and being out of date.

The Light

The learning technologists and teachers are the seen as the good guys, but are often referred to us mavericks. Why?

Again, James suggested ignorance was an issue. They are often ignorant about what really matters about large scale implementation of technologies. Again, focus is a problem – learning technologists are often distracted by the next shiny thing. Again, resources can be a problem – embedding learning technology takes time and training. And again, fear of being out of date.

James concluded by explaining that it should not be a battle of light against dark, but dealing with the grey area in between. We need to understand both sides and fight together to achieve the end goal.


Your Perspective


If you have a view about any of James’ points, please share them below in the comments or join us on Twitter using the #FOTE14 hashtag.

posted by kpitkin on October 3, 2014

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