Thank you for the food for thought Tom. I really like your point about looking for things that change your mind. I sometimes wonder if I have been in my support position for too long, but I never cease to find new ideas being added to my toolbox that change the way I see things.
Congratulations Greg, really interested in this
and the various findings with the work that I do.
I want us to think about what it means for education technology — in this crisis or any “crisis” — to permeate people’s homes. Education technology has been offered by its funders as the solution to educational crises for a century now. Look where that’s got us.
Audrey Watters discusses the history of radio and television responses to past crises.
Although I have always used EdTech, like you my interest was in the various affordances and possibilities. My concern is the name for that? It feels like as much as anything EdTech is a label that leaves others feeling clarity where there may not be very much.
For the past ten years, I have written a lengthy year-end series, documenting some of the dominant narratives and trends in education technology. I think it is worthwhile, as the decade draws to a close, to review those stories and to see how much (or how little) things have changed. You can read the series here: 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019.
I thought for a good long while about how best to summarize this decade, and inspired by the folks at The Verge, who published a list of “The 84 biggest flops, fails, and dead dreams of the decade in tech,” I decided to do something similar: chronicle for you a decade of ed-tech failures and fuck-ups and flawed ideas.
Oh yes, I’m sure you can come up with some rousing successes and some triumphant moments that made you thrilled about the 2010s and that give you hope for “the future of education.” Good for you. But that’s not my job. (And honestly, it’s probably not your job either.)
Audrey Watters closes the decade with an epic post documenting the worst of ed-tech. Full of ‘I forgot about …’ and ‘whatever happened to …’, this post is an important provocation to read and reflect upon in regards to the use of educational technology. Along with Watters’
In a separate post, Ryan Boren collects together a number responses to Watters’ post.
, she leaves a lot to stop and think about.