Wednesday, 30 January 2013

edcmooc - Technological Determinism in Education

There’s currently a lot of “strong” technological determinism in education – telling us that facebook and ‘academic twitter’, google docs, tumblr, flikr, mahara or ‘the latest thing’ are the way we 'must' Teach and Learn, telling us that technology is “The Way”, rather than “a way”. Many academics are bemoaning poor technological uptake amongst their peers, resistance to change, or give out about ‘people not using the software to its full potential’. In reality, most humans are already conducting what MIT's Peter Lunenfeld calls 'Info Triage' - in an attempt to manage precious time, live human lives and protect their fragile brains against infodump overload.

In education, I believe a weaker determinism can now be considered appropriate. Technology can help but ‘if it’s not working, stop using it’. The focus should be on pedagogy, not technology - on the student experience, on student learning, rather than on inflexible systems of information transfer.

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