Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Banning or Limiting Accessibility to Technology Hurts Performance

At first I thought it was seeing things. I thought I hadn't had enough coffee when this morning I watched a story on Fox News about a ban on wi-fi hotspots at Lakehead University in Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada.

It seems the president of the university, Fred Gilbert, has determined that wi-fi poses a health risk to the student population based on studies that radio transmissions are linked to brain tumors and leukemia. Mind you, these studies are inconclusive and a report from Health Canada will be published later this year establishing that wi-fi networks pose no health risks to humans.

Still, this means little to the Lakehead University who says they are doing this ban as a precaution. It also means very little to Lakehead University that wi-fi operates on radio waves, which are naturally occurring. Food for thought.

You can read more about this issue here and here.

All of this occurred around February of this year and perhaps you are hearing about it for the first time just like me. Knee-jerk reactions similar to what the Lakehead president did are not only ridiculous, they do more harm to the performance of the intended audience than good. Banning or limiting technology and accessibility creates an unnecessary barrier to performance regardless if it happens to students or business professionals in the workplace.

If people don't have the tools to do their job effectively, don't expect them to perform how you want them to. Some might say that wi-fi is not a necessity, but it sure makes work and life a whole lot easier!

1 comment:

Leo A. Geis said...

Frightening, ain't it?! I recently saw an article where folks in New Mexico or some such were petitioning to have wireless removed as a health threat. Whatever happened to tin foil hats?