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Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Monsters of EdTech: Hidden History of EdTech

It's very quiet at work this week (long live dead week!), so I am reading Audrey Watters's The Monsters of Education Technology.


In the same way I am a big believer in re-use of content (one reason I love the digital world), I am also a big believer in re-reading, something we do far too little of in our hectic, time-short lives. Audrey's new book is a perfect opportunity to do some re-reading; since I had read most (but not all, as I see) of these big posts at her blog, the book allows me to revisit those posts, putting them into my current content of "now" (December 2014), and also seeing more closely the connections between one talk and another. YES! I'll tag the posts here as Audrey MoET. And I am guessing all of these will be relevant to #ccourses. :-)

Audrey closes the introduction with the question of whether we will see something more monstrous or more marvelous in the future. I feel poised on exactly that fulcrum at my school, where on the one hand I feel more and more marvels happening as I open up my own classes and see other open classes at our Reclaim Hosting pilot... but I also see more and more monstrous things happening, as when we spend millions of dollars on the Janux LMS boondoggle. If you ever wondered why the word "boondoggle" must exist, Janux is why.


And now, with thoughts of both monsters and marvels... on to the first essay!

1. The Hidden History of Ed-Tech. The theme here is "tension between new tools and old practices: "developing new technologies is easy; changing human behaviors, changing institutions, challenging tradition and power is hard." SO TRUE. I've seen technologies (Blackboard, D2L, whatever) change at my school over the past 15 years; I have not seen the culture change at all. Favorite new reflection from this essay: "The personal computer isn't 'personal' because it's small and portable and yours to own. It's 'personal' because you pour yourself into it — your thoughts, your programming."

Ahhhh, if only..... and I definitely would say that "personal" is an important dimension of my classes too. So, I will hang on to this word "personal" as I read through the rest of the book, seeing what forces are about personal-as-in-sharing-ourselves as opposed to the impersonal forces working against that.

And now... on to the next essay: Un-Fathomable.

Here is the first essay as it appeared at Audrey's blog:
The History of the Future of Ed-Tech

The blog comes with pictures! I like pictures. :-)



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