A director responding to Reading, Writing and Rip-Offs

Panorama released an episode leaving a possibly sour taste in the mouth of teachers about technology company directors (That’s what I did) [And now I’m a shareholder]. Here are my thoughts on the program and hopefully a little bit of a balanced view.

TLDR; Not all technology companies are trying to make a quick buck from schools. Primary Technology certainly didn’t when I was fulfilling my role as managing director and wont while I’m fulfilling my role as a shareholder.

All of the schools I have worked with have had increased levels of access to technology through my involvement.

I would never inflate prices or try bully schools into signing contracts they don’t want. I think pricing should be transparent and that’s why I’m a huge fan of schools getting 3 quotes when making a purchase over a certain value (the value is usually decided by the LA).

Most of the schools I have worked with have been absolutely fantastic and responsible when it has come to purchasing decisions. I was once stung by one of these companies when it payed to fail for labor we completed, schools are not the only victims here.. Technology companies are…

The technology companies accused in the program are not technology companies, they are sales and leasing companies. Technology companies do the actual installation / configuration / development / design etc. I’d be interested to know if that was included in the price per item.

Michael Gove doesn’t have to take responsibility if free schools go bust. If only! Imagine Michael declaring bankruptcy.. Let’s not remember

On the topic of Michael Gove

From the Members of Parliament disclosure via Wikipedia.

Expenses claims
Main article: Disclosure of expenses of British Members of Parliament
Michael Gove claimed £7,000 for furnishing a London property before reportedly ‘flipping’ his designated second home, a property for which he claimed around £13,000 to cover stamp duty.[44] Gove also claimed for a cot mattress, despite children’s items being banned under the Commons rule. Gove said he would repay the claim for the cot mattress, but maintained that his other claims were “below the acceptable threshold costs for furniture” and that moving house was necessary “to effectively discharge my parliamentary duties”.[44] While he was moving between homes, on one occasion he stayed at the Pennyhill Park Hotel and Spa following a constituency engagement, charging the taxpayer more than £500 per night’s stay.[44]
Gove’s second home was not in his constituency, but in Elstead, in the South West Surrey Constituency. Gove subsequently sold the house and now has no base in or near his constituency.[45]

Let’s take a second to reflect on what’s important..

This program could be really damaging to the relationship between technology and schools possibly putting some schools off investing fairly in the future of their pupils. Making the assumption that all schools dealings with technology companies end poorly would be extremely damaging. Exposing crooks is great and kudos to Panorama, but hopefully the viewers wont put all company directors in one box.

Gove wants schools to move “back to basics” ergo away from tech. Does it seem slightly suspicious this Panorama would be aired now? Just saying…

Talking to a PrimaryPad

Inclusion and accessibility are right up on the agenda here at Primary Technology and today we have been able to tick a really big box by including Speech to Text support on Pads in PrimaryPad. Real time collaboration without a keyboard in this world with a penetration of mobile and tablet factor devices is a really nice feature and we’re really proud of our contributions to Etherpad Lite which have made this possible.

At current Speech to Text is only available in Google Chrome however over the next few months we expect to see other browsers adopting this fantastic input method! Enjoy!

Try it for yourself on a Pad at PrimaryPad <– make sure to use Google Chrome

PrimaryPaint issues from PrimaryPad

We’re currently experiencing an issue with PrimaryPaint. If you click the paintbrush from a PrimaryPad you may have a problem. If you do find you have this problem please visit PrimaryPaint – create a paint wall then copy the URL to your pad and ask your pupils to click that.

We will get the issue resolved as soon as possible. Thanks for understanding :)

PrimaryPaint issues from PrimaryPad

We’re currently experiencing an issue with PrimaryPaint. If you click the paintbrush from a PrimaryPad you may have a problem. If you do find you have this problem please visit PrimaryPaint – create a paint wall then copy the URL to your pad and ask your pupils to click that.

We will get the issue resolved as soon as possible. Thanks for understanding :)

PrimaryPaint issues from PrimaryPad

We’re currently experiencing an issue with PrimaryPaint. If you click the paintbrush from a PrimaryPad you may have a problem. If you do find you have this problem please visit PrimaryPaint – create a paint wall then copy the URL to your pad and ask your pupils to click that.

We will get the issue resolved as soon as possible. Thanks for understanding :)