CEO of edutech company admits infidelity. A moral tale for all educators.

Published by Chris Ogilvie-Taylor, CEO of Marsden Grant on 22 January 2014


For the benefit of others, I’m just going to come right out with it. There’s no way around. I’ve been unfaithful; admittedly and shamefully disloyal. There, I’ve said it. After ten years of unwavering loyalty I have succumbed to urges that my faithfulness always denied me. And so today I live with the new and the old has been discarded. Done and dusted.

I’m talking mobile devices of course (what did you think?). For over ten years I have been the greatest advocate of BlackBerry and was proud as punch of the crackberry affliction that became a natural but very anti-social personal habit of constantly checking the screen for new messages. (The British comedian Andy Parsons compares BlackBerry owners constant scanning of their device’s screen to opening the front door of your home every two minutes to check if there’s anyone there). So true. But, in the end, the lure of multi-media and multi-tasking beyond the singular delivery of emails was just too much and I fell for Samsung’s Galaxy Note 3. Big time.

For those that don’t know, the Note 3 is the largest mobile phone device on the market, currently. Taking a call on it requires a bit of getting used to as it’s like holding a piece of toast to your ear, such is its size. But that conquered, it’s unbelievably good at all the things you might need or want to do on the move. And then some. In fact, it’s more than a mobile; it’s a mini computer in your hand masquerading as a cell phone. And it’s cool. Teenagers are moving to it in droves from Apple’s i-devices because they don’t like having the same mobile as their parents. That’s very uncool. The Note 3 does everything well and nothing especially well. So unlike BlackBerry which is the undisputed King, Chairman of the board and Uber Gruppenführer of email delivery its email program is fairly basic and ex-BlackBerry addicts have to climb down from their lofty pedestals and put up with. But it’s adaptable and it does rid you of that really annoying (to others) screen checking habit so wives/husbands/partners get back your attention at the table. With the Note 3 I’m loving the high definition screen, the multi-media access, the freehand notes maker and the camera/video quality. I toyed with the idea of running both the Note 3 and the BlackBerry simultaneously but two devices in one hand - who needs that?

So what relevance does my adoption of new technology have to our business of educational technology? The answer is.....massive relevance. When we provide and install classroom technology, teachers have to swiftly adopt its use or risk looking Neanderthal-like in front of their class of digital native pupils. This requires an amount of homework and practice in their own time learning the ropes of the new software as they go. And it’s easier done than said so for teachers who have never used a digital presentation board before, a little practice makes perfect. And that’s just what I had to do. Picking up the Note 3 for the first time was really scary. There’s practically no software commonality with the BlackBerry so it was a whole new ball for me and made even the harder as I had got very comfortable with the old game. Practice and experimentation was what was required. Notifiers to add, screen savers to amend, email files to create and personalised signatures to embed. And several hours later, I was on top of it. Just as I was with the BlackBerry first time around.

All new technology needs time invested, if you are to dominate it. Give it your time and you and your pupils will reap the bountiful digital rewards. Just as I have done with the Note 3. Why, you can even type blogs on it if you practice enough!

To request useful support information as to how your school can develop or extend its use of edutech, please contact me at cot@marsdengrant.com or use the contact facility on this site.
Chris Ogilvie-Taylor


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"One amongst us will forsake his technology for another"