Edtech weariness?

It seems topical for older ed tech people to talk about disillusions (Stephen Downes filled the entire yesterday’s newsletter issue with this topic), and I am old enough to comment.

A glass half filled, with annotation 'Pessimism?" at the emptied half and "Optimism?" at the filled half.

For me, the distinction between my optimism and pessimism is rather simple: I believe in simple, low tech tools that are really tools and not patronizing prostheses. So I am pessimistic about all sorts of spectacular, shiny, oversized toys, and I am still very confident that, in the long run, the simple natural affordances of IT will bear fruit even in education. I expressed that view with a simple little JavaScript example in 2001.

For the oversized patronizing opposite, I don’t know which one of my posts to link to that all addressed this longstanding concern:

  • Specifically, for the prosthesis aspect, perhaps see this one, or that series (in the context of think tools). That series will also (part 1) lead you to the keyword of ‘idiosyncratic’ which is the top in Jon Dron’s list.
  • For his keyword of ‘centralizing’, I have a whole category.
  • For the ‘scale’ aspect, just see my previous post.

Of course, however, as long as parents’ and institutions’ focus is on the efficiency of learning rather than asking what needs to be learned, pessimism is still justified.

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1 Response to Edtech weariness?

  1. x28 says:

    Thanks to Stephen Downes for the comment within https://www.downes.ca/post/73908


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