Way back in October 2004, I mentioned Nortel Networks’ Kidz Online, which I thought was a great resource for youth wishing to build their IT skills. The resource is freely provided by Nortel, however, I had issues that it was tied so tightly to Microsoft Windows Media Player and Internet Explorer.
However, I’ve recently received word from Nortel that their new resource titled Nortel LearniT will be officially launched at the end of June. And it looks like the new resource will be much more sensitive to proprietary platform issues.
“To address these issues and further embed technology into teacher Professional Development and Core Curriculum subjects, Nortel LearniT was created. The new site is being designed to support multiple platforms and offer new features such as dynamic lesson plans that link state and provincial standards/expectations, dynamic linking of relevant content, as well as support for RealVideo in addition to MediaPlayer.”
Well this sounds promising, but I will have to wait to see if there is another BIGGER issue addressed. Taking a quick look at the site, the only tutorial shown thus far is … ugggh … MS Front Page. So Nortel, take note. If you want to build a resource that is truly useful for schools, think also about multi-platform CONTENT. I’d love to see some basic Linux or Open Office support from a company that has the resources to provide quality resources. The ICT world is in the midst of revolution, and the leaders of this movement are inspired by OPEN thinking rather than proprietary allegiances. In developing resources such as this, the choice can be made to either preserve the old regime, or join with those that aim to improve both the quality and access to the new ICT. Corporations that support the movement will be those in the end most valued and benefitted by education and the critical consumer.