With large numbers of schools, in the North of England unusable or severely damaged due to the recent floods, perhaps this is a good time for education authorities and schools to explore how new technologies and social software might help alleviate or avoid some the problems, and provide a meaningful learning experience for affected pupils in the months to come.
It appears that up to 10 million pounds has been made available by the government's Department for Schools, Children and Families, to support; "temporary accommodation, extra surveyors and summer activities for children flooded out of their homes."
Local authorities could also consider using some of the 10m for developing a strategic approach, rather than just fire fighting, bringing together stakeholders and interested parties to explore the possibilities; for example:
- make and laptops, (school stocks and buy extra), available, install wireless networks and connectivity in centres and homes.
- develop an 'emergency' online curriculum using appropriate web 2.0 technologies and social collaborative software. There is a great deal of experience available locally, regionally and internationally upon which they to draw.
I don't claim to have all, (or even any of the answers - yet), but I am sure with a degree of will and vision, then this, must surely be something worth trying, and could also serve as a real test-bed for 21st century learning. The alternatives could be pretty grim.