Another example of why the adoption of technologies is not dependent only on the technologies themselves but rather on the desire of the users themselves. This reminded me of two instances of extremely popular and seemingly easy-to-use Web2.0 services falling short on usability.
This is an interesting list of tips for disseminating technology in an institution. I find 4 and 5 particularly intriguing. Not doing a pilot seems so counterintuitive but given that so many pilots get so entrenched that their adoption is a given no matter what the results that skipping them in certain instances (and just doing a brief trial) may be the best solution. More creative gathering of feedback may include walking into classrooms and asking the students. Well-worth reviewing.
This report suggests that institutions should pay attention to more than just the features of a given platform. OpenSource (Sakai) and closed-source (Blackboard) systems alike relying on the Java enterprise approach are often too heavyweight for relatively small institutions. Even a basic install requires enterprise-level support. Moreover, more lightweight equivalents Moodle, Elgg and Drupal can be up and running on a single left-over machine and scale up when uptake increases.
This is an interesting example of how an essentially global technology can influence profoundly local interactions.
All the talk about adopting new and emergent technologies in education often overlooks one important factor! You need people with underlying skills to implement them and, not insignificantly, people with the proper skills to use them. (All that in addition to a proper institutional innovation and development culture.) This article in PC World hints at what those might be, but...