Liked On the Historical Amnesia of Ed Tech #25YearsOfEdTech by Clint Lalonde (EdTech Factotum)

My own journey on the ed tech history path reflects this shift from evangelist to critic and maps closely to Martin’s experiences so the book does resonate with me. But I am also aware that, like Martin, I am a person of a certain type; a white, middle-aged, heterosexual male, educated, employed, and a product of all that privilege has brought with it. And when I first began embracing the web ethos of openness and transparency in the early 2000’s, I did so unaware of just how much that privilege allowed me to do so. Today, I’m not quite as evangelical.

Bookmarked After this there will be no more good clean online fun (bavatuesdays)

With all that said, I don’t see this as a reason to say what happens for the next few weeks is not “real online learning,” but rather it might demonstrate the necessity of that expertise as well as some of the limits of those paid third-party services that provide the turn-key solution technically—are they enough to scale online learning? Maybe it can act as a cautionary tale for schools that did not have the folks on the ground to help. But given there’s a chance that this lockdown could have impact through Fall and possibly next Spring, I am afraid it will be more about big-tech and serious LMS-like solutions than anything resembling innovative and exploratory attempts to explore the very DNA of online learning given the current situation. That was the reason for my original tweaking of Brian and Matt, and let me be clear that I am not suggesting this is the time for wild experimentation, but I hope there will be space for that once the dust settles a bit and folks dig out, that’s all I meant—but I am currently curled up under my desk in the event I am unintentionally inspiring the wrath of edtechs on the ground everywhere

Jim Groom turns to his blog to elaborate some thoughts on the debate between Stephen Downes and Clint Lalonde. current turn to online learning.

The concern I have is the idea that what happens in the next few months is not considered “real online learning” might discount some of the emergent approaches born of necessity. What’s more, I tend to associate the idea of extensive planning and real, serious online learning as mandate for big, costly edtech that is overly produced, and I am assuming given his post Downes was making the same connection.

In response, Lalonde clarifies his position, explaining that his concern is around people turning to technology to replicate bad practice:

At any rate, the issue here is what is happening within the system; how higher education is reacting, how institutions are responding. Is it “real” online learning? Well, some of it is. Some educators will take this opportunity to rethink how they do things and adapt their teaching to a new modality. But right now what I see is a lot of “let’s sit 50 people in a Zoom room to listen to a lecture”. That is NOT online learning.

Downes explains that this is still online learning, even if it is poor practice.

I don’t think it’s fair to say to people that this is not online learning. It *is* online learning. It might be poor online learning, but it may well be a necessary first step that people need to take. People are, as you say, doing what they know. They’re trying to do it online.

I am left wondering if ‘online learning’ risks becoming (or already is) a dead metaphor? Not sure what Doug Belshaw would think?

Replied to On the network effect and PLN’s (

I see my main role in the network right now is to try and provide value-added information to my network in the hopes that someday others may be convinced to begin doing the same. This is how PLN’s are built, one person at a time adding value with intent. Participating. Contributing.

How do you build a PLN? First, it is important to overcome the hesitation around “using” people. If you are building a PLN, you will always be in a reciprocating relationship with the others in the network. Ideally, you should feel that your main job in the network is to provide value-added information to those who can, in turn, increase your learning (Digenti, 1999).

This will be a long process. But then again, relationship building always is.

Clint, I am enjoying your exploration of Mastodon and what is required. Someone else who has challenged me about both Twitter and Mastodon (and Micro.Blog) has been Ian Guest. He asked that question as to what I wanted out of any of these groups. I think that you touch upon this with your discussion of PLN. One thing that I do not think that I have thought about enough is how a PLN can change and evolve. Some people go, others stay. It is all rather fluid. Although I am willing to discuss all the technicals, maybe this focus on ‘EdTech‘ misses the purpose. Maybe this is Douglas Rushkoff’s point about ‘Team Human‘?

Thank you as always for the provocation.

Replied to Cross posting from Mastodon to Twitter using IFTTT and RSS (

One strategy will be to actively participate on Mastodon more than Twitter. I’ve had a Mastodon account for the past couple of years and have been somewhat active in that space, trying to maintain a presence there as I really like this model of a decentralized social media network where it is possible for a small group to host their own instance and connect their Mastodon instance to other Mastodon instances. I have used the user-supported Mastodon.Social site for the past few years, but would really like to explore with the OpenETC this year what it might take to host our own instance of Mastodon within the OpenETC specifically for educators within BC to have their own Mastodon account.

Clint, I found Laura Kalbag’s discussion of instances useful. Also, Neil Mather wrote a reflection on setting up Activity Pub on his site. I am just unsure if I am then able to use the native app with Mastodon. Still exploring that.
Replied to (

What is telling is the list of blogs that have refereed traffic to my blog are all written by men. I am not sure what – or if – there is anything to make out of that fact, but anytime I see a list of people that is exclusively male it does make me pause and go hmmmm.

As another white male sending traffic back to your blog, I am left thinking.
Replied to Models for Evaluating Education Technology (

In the course of my research, I came across these different models of evaluating education technologies. I haven’t added much of my own context or analysis around many of these. But thought it could still be useful to some as a starting point for someone looking for tools to help evaluate education technology.

I remember doing my own review of models and resources associated with educational technologies a few years ago. There were some like Graphite and Courseware in Context that I had not heard of.
Liked Sandstorm is winding down and some other options to begin exploring for self-hosting web apps (

say, there are options. And I suspect there will be more open source options emerging in the future as interest among both organizations and individuals looking for more self-hosted cloud-like options that put the emphasis on privacy, data sovereignty, and local control grows.

Replied to Digital Fluency vs Digital Literacy by Clint Lalonde (

A digitally fluent instructor is able to compare, contrast, and analyze differences in technologies, and understand how those differences might impact their pedagogy, and adjust accordingly. This ability to adjust accordingly is, to me, one of the biggest traits that distinguishes the digitally fluent instructor from the digitally literate one.

Clint Lalonde, wondering whether this ever comes down to definitions? Building on Doug Belshaw’s work on digital literacies, I think his elements capture all the aspects of fluency that you talk about? Maybe the issue is that digital literacy has become a dead metaphor?
Replied to Some IndieWeb WordPress tuning by Clint Lalonde (EdTech Factotum)

I have added in the Indieweb WordPress plugin which adds some Indieweb features to the site that will, hopefully, help me better control the flow of data from the blog

Great to see you tinkering Clint. Pretty sure the bridge to Facebook died with Cambridge Analytica. If you are looking for any ideas and inspiration, I highly recommend diving into Chris Aldrich’s research. There is always something there I feel I have overlooked.
Replied to A Pedagogy of the Internet by Clint Lalonde (EdTech Factotum)

So, all this is to say, for me, the pedagogical piece that I am most interested in is what the open internet enables, and exploring what it means to participate in a meaningful way on the open, public internet. What are the challenges? What are the benefits? Why do I feel it is important that educators and students participate in these open spaces?

Your discussion here of online pedagogies reminds me of Chapter 2 of Anderson and Dron’s book Teaching Crowds. What it has me thinking is that different spaces are conducive to different pedagogical outcomes. I remember a few years ago asking someone from Google what their pedagogical stance was (I was thinking inquiry vs. instruction back then) and he stated that Google was not about deciding other people’s pedagogy. This may be true in part but if you look at there movement into transformation and subsequently online learning then the technology seems to produce certain outcomes.
Liked Students as customers by Clint Lalonde (EdTech Factotum)

I do believe that educators need to continually kickback at the notion that students are customers because it fundamentally changes the nature of our relationship, boiling it down to dollars and sense. Getting a post-secondary education isn’t like buying a new car. Deep learning has to be driven by something other than economics and the more the language of consumerism seeps into our conversations, the more education adopts values that mimic the market. And we are not the market.

Replied to The Ontario Extend 9x9x25 Challenge by Clint Lalonde (EdTech Factotum)

In October I am going to try to participate in the Ontario Extend 9x9x25 blogging challenge – 9 posts over 9 weeks each post at least 25 sentences long reflecting on teaching & learning.

As blogging habits go, I think that this is one of the more achievable Clint. I might join you as I feel my blog has been pretty quiet of late.
Replied to Having a Gasta at #ALTC by Clint Lalonde (EdTech Factotum)

At no time did I dream of becoming an educational technologist. But, yet, 25 years later, here I am, and along the way I have noticed some changes and shifts in our field. Here are 3.

Observation #1: Education Technology has become both simpler and more complex.

I really enjoyed this Clint. I think the critical change in regards to technology is significant. I recently wrote a reflection on this after the Cambridge Analytica. I feel that the biggest challenge we face is being informed and building the capacity across the system.
Bookmarked Shutting off the EdTech Factotum newsletter (but keeping the blog) by Clint Lalonde (EdTech Factotum)

I’ll continue to blog here at EdTech Factotum. The only difference is now this will just be a regular ol’ blog and there won’t be any newsletters emailed to you fine folks. I’ll still post the occasional summary of what I read here. And you can still follow along via the RSS feed (remember those?),  Twitter, or my EdTech Factotum Facebook page.

I have added Clint Lalonde’s linkblog to my blogroll.