Academic journal article T H E Journal (Technological Horizons In Education)

All That for a Football Game?

Academic journal article T H E Journal (Technological Horizons In Education)

All That for a Football Game?

Article excerpt

A BUMPER STICKER I often saw in the 1960s proclaimed, "It will be a great day when our schools get all the money they need and the Air Force has to hold a bake sale to buy a bomber." I always thought the sentiment was naive and unrealistic. Yet recently myself asking perhaps an equally naive question: What if schools got the same attention that professional sports receive?

What prompted my query was an article in the Miami Herald the week before the Super Bowl. It described the lengths to which technology vendors were going to ensure that all their constituents at the game were taken care of and all the technology systems worked smoothly. There was one company that was tracking Very Important People. Each driver assigned to a VIP (VIPs apparently can't drive themselves) was given a small box to wear on his belt that basically acted as a GPS device, allowing the company's security team to know the whereabouts of each of its drivers and get instant alerts when one would leave or enter a location.

In the media room at Miami's Sun Life Stadium, where the Super Bowl was played, there were six computer stations equipped with video cameras for reporters to file video or audio clips, more than 90 Ethernet connections, six tech-support specialists, and a supply of loaner laptops for emergencies.

What most amazed me were the preparations made by the cell phone companies, which brought in extra equipment to increase service capacity to keep up with the volume of data and voice calls. The demand is especially high at halftime, when fans send messages to all their friends, proving that they are indeed at the Super Bowl. …

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