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June 18, 2009


Is it Reflection (or Complaining)?

by fambrojoe

Is it wrong to feel like screaming?

This post is the beginning of a collection of 3 series that may seem as if they are a string of complaints.  I must admit that I do have some complaints that I would like to express, but my goal is not to simply complain or critique, but to reflect upon my experience and outline a core list of issues that are seemingly not working.  These issues are related to external organizations that work closely with and provide supporting services to schools.  I have started discussions with people in each of these organizations during the 2009-2010 academic year. Through outlining these issues, I hope that a process of consideration will begin so that I can continue to work towards solutions or improvements.

In these series I will explore the following:

Rubicon Atlas: It’s Like Windows 95
Is it relevant or obsolete?
Does any teacher actually like it?
Does it help or hinder the mapping process?
Software that can or software that can’t?
Is it really collaborative?
Web .0003 or Web 3.0?

IB Asia Pacific Regional Professional Development: The Anti-Exemplar on Technology
Why is there a deficiency?
Where’s the exemplary tech integration?
What is it reasonable for IB to provide?

Apple Asia: A Work In Progress
Who are these people?
Wow! You sing pretty songs. What’s the key?
ADE – Will it be born in East Asia?

Throughout the series, I will have to work hardest at maintaining objectivity while writing about Rubicon Atlas.  I’ve spent countless hours attending training, training faculty, working through unit template reviews and changes, and maintaining our school Rubicon Atlas system which is used by each division for curriculum mapping.  This has been a real source of frustration and I hope to outline more clearly, for myself, Rubicon, and schools in the region, my thoughts.

As an International Baccalaureate (IB) Middle Years Program (MYP) Coordinator,  I am an open, exuberant champion of IB.  Since becoming familiar with the programs and seeing the changes in our school, faculty, curriculum, and most importantly our students, I am thrilled to a part of an IB World School.  I have attended more than my share of regional workshops (subject area, coordinator, online).  One thing that is noticeably missing is the positive, exemplary use of technology.

Of these three organizations I am writing about, I have come to know Apple Asia from an educational standpoint only in the last couple of months.  I’ve lived in Korea almost 5 years and have extremely disappointing experiences with Apple Korea from a personal consumer perspective.  The intent of the series on Apple Asia is to explore issues in regards to what I am learning about their educational services.  Nevertheless, I openly admit that my perspective comes from experiencing Apple Asia through Korea.

As these series roll out, I welcome your shared or different experiences and comments.

1 Comment Post a comment
  1. Mar 23 2011

    I’m really curious about Rubicon Atlas. My wife is a teacher and her school has just implemented the software. What she tells me about it falls right in line with what you have said – frustrating with ill-defined objectives and a general antipathy from all the teachers in the school. As a person with an interest in critical thinking, it seems to me that the whole Rubicon Atlas edifice has all the hallmarks of a vast swindle. Its website is full of meaningless buzzwords, its representatives give presentations at the school that leave teachers more confused than they were beforehand and to my (untrained) eye, the software looks like nothing more than a database. Add to that the fact that Rubicon Atlas appears to have a complete monopoly on this idea and there is little to no critical appraisal of it on the web and it looks to me a lot like a vast fraud.

    If you have written any more about your use of it I’d be very curious to read your thoughts. I don’t think I’ll be able to include an email address in this field but you can contact me through my site.




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