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 K-12 DCP Conference (ReconfigurED.)
Anthony Speranza:

When using technology, we need to be careful of rhetoric

It is not the technology that is disruptive, but what we do with the technology that is disruptive

When talking about technology we often get caught up in discussions of *evidence* and *return on investment*. The problem is that benefits can not necessarily be measured in the same way

We can talk about the effect size of technology, but the problem is that this does not capture the different ways that technology is used within the classroom

It is what the teacher does with the technology that will make the ultimate difference

The use of computers is more effective when: there is a diversity of strategies, pre-training, multiple opportunities, student in control, peer learning and feedback optimised.

We have to have the belief that when we implement technology that it will have the desired effects, such as student self-reporting, meta-cognition and clarity of learning

Steve Cutts provides some interesting provocations about technology

What do Google’s DeepMind and IBM’s Watson mean for the future of school?

“Today content is ubiquitous and its’ free” Tony Wagner

52,000,000,000, the estimated number of pages indexed by Google. Growing exponentially

Saroo’s story demonstrates problem-based literacy and numeracy approaches

Google ‘Talk to Books’ offers a new AI approach to search beyond the indexed web

Google Search has changed the way that things are. Now we have technology that not only gives an answer, but also shows the process behind it

Kids today will expect the use of technology

What does it mean when students would rather do YouTube and check out of school?

The qualities required in the 21st Century need to go beyond the traditional foundations

Three stages of educational technology use via Sonny Magana: translational, transformational and transcendent Framework

We need to think about school as it can be

Liked "The Audrey Test": Or, What Should Every Techie Know About Education? (Hack Education)
If I were to really formalize such an "Audrey test," I think it would also have to involve what you know, what you think about education, about teaching, about learning, about politics and theory and practice -- its history, its present, its future.
Via Maha Bali
Listened Augmented eternity and the potential of prediction from Radio National
With big data and algorithms you could extend your 'virtual self' beyond the grave. And could meeting your future self help change your current behaviour?
This episode of Future Tense raised so many questions. Just because we could, it doesn’t always mean we should. For me, this is the point of the Black Mirror series.

I am also reminded of Kin Lane’s point about storytelling:

90% of what you are being told about AI, Blockchain, and automation right now isn’t truthful. It is only meant allocate space in your imagination, so that at the right time you can be sold something, and distracted while your data, privacy, and security can be exploited, or straight up swindled out from under you.

This flows on from Audrey Watters’ argument:

The best way to invent the future is to issue a press release. The best way to resist this future is to recognize that, once you poke at the methodology and the ideology that underpins it, a press release is all that it is.

Replied to INTERTEXTrEVOLUTION by Greg McVerryGreg McVerry (
For today’s #edu522 #dailyponderance you need to highlight some cool #edtech tools. Give us 3-5 apps or websites we should try in class. (I went easy…I had another idea but would have to describe Fork, PR, commit, and merge conflict….way too much for rainy Saturday).
My five tools I’d suggest are:
– Pocket
– Inoreader
– Trello
– Typely
– Noterlive
Read elaborations here:
Bookmarked Are we listening? by Jose Picardo (Shooting Azimuths)
The very teachers who read William and nod vigorously about the need to know stuff before you can understand or do stuff in the context of curriculum are unable to draw parallels between their dismissal of digital technology and their own lack of knowledge about it. Rather than finding virtuosity and pride in learning about how what technology works best and in what context—so as to be able to discern the best tool for particular tasks—we seem happy to eschew whole new toolkits on the dodgy grounds of ignorance and misconception.
Jose Picardo argues that the question about whether we should have more or less technology in schools misses the point. What matters is how it is used. For example, those who argue for more knowledge often fail to put the effort into actually understanding how technology is used in education:

Technology can be done well as well as badly. What I am arguing is twofold: firstly that the many of the reasons commonly given against the use of technology are really not very good and betray a fundamental misunderstanding about how technology works to support teaching and learning; and, secondly, that you would be a much better critic of technology if you knew more about its application and its impact, both positive and negative.

This comes back to the importance of why and having a framework to guide you. For a different perspective on technology in the classroom, read David Perry’s thread.

Replied to Making sense of teaching, learning, & assessing with technology (W. Ian O'Byrne)
educators claim to be digital literate, yet they still have basic questions about educational and instructional technologies. They continue to use the same technologies they learned previously, and have had success with. In the year 2000, being digitally literate meant that you could navigate a computer and use email. In the year 2018, there are many more technologies available to use, so would this definition still suffice? This raises the question of, what does it mean to teach, learn, and assess with technology? What will it mean to teach, learn, and assess with technology in the future?
I really liked the way that you break down the use of technology. Although I still find Belshaw’s digital literacies as a useful starting point for a deeper conversation. However, your differentiation between learning and teaching is a useful way of talking about context. I think it is also a reminder that technology is a system.

In the past I have used the Modern Learners Canvas to break down the various parts of learning and classroom.

“Modern Learning Canvas – Instructional Model” by mrkrndvs is licensed under CC BY-SA

Technology has a part to play, but it is never in isolation.

Lately, my take on educational technology has taken another twist. My focus lately has been on policy and the implication this has for technology and ‘efficency’. Whether it be reporting, timetables or attendance, what I am coming to realise is how much of this is assumed when it comes to instruction.

Would love your thoughts? I wonder if in ten years we will have more agile systems, that combine the rigour with the flexibility called for in today’s day and age?

Bookmarked Twenty Years of Edtech (
What has changed, what remains the same, and what general patterns can be discerned from the past twenty years in the fast-changing field of edtech?
Martin Weller looks back at twenty years of EdTech, highlighting the various moments that have stood out across the journey. This brings together many of the pieces that he has written for his 25 years of EdTech series that he has written to celebrate 25 years of ALT. As he points out in his introduction, we are not very good at looking back. This post then offers an opportunity to stop and do so in a structured manner. Another interesting take on history is Ben Francis’ post on the Firefox OS.
Bookmarked The Story of Firefox OS – Ben Francis – Medium by Ben Francis (Medium)
I remember at a team dinner once Mitchell Baker, Mozilla’s Chairwoman and “Chief Lizard Wrangler”, talked about the importance of…
This is a fascinating read about the evolution of a technology project, how ‘good ideas’ fail and what is learned. It leaves me wondering if organisations like Google and Facebook have historians and documentation keeping track of where they have come or is it all hidden within the meeting minutes and test cases?


The problem with competing on price is that you soon get into a race to the bottom and whoever has the biggest economy of scale ends up winning.

The web isn’t a world of monolithic apps with clear boundaries between them, it is an experience of surfing from one web page to another, flowing through content.

With no real constraints put on the ideation process and an insufficient process for evaluating them, people were coming up with all sorts of suggestions from smart watches to reinventing the concept of currency!

The premise of Ari’s talk was that Firefox OS had set out to compete with Android and iOS and it had failed. Firefox OS was too late to market, the app store hadn’t taken off and the smartphone war had been won. It was time to move onto the next big thing — the Internet of Things.

The flagship Firefox team and supporting platform team had been complaining about a lack of resources for a while, and with Firefox market share slipping the finger of blame was pointed at Firefox OS.

There was a general feeling that Mozilla had “bet the farm” on Firefox OS and it hadn’t paid off.

It’s possible that rather than being five years too late, Firefox OS was actually five years too early!

Replied to Still Amusing Ourselves To Death – Ideas and Thoughts by Dean Shareski (
Trying to be a truly informed citizen today is almost impossible. As an educator, this is where we have an enormous challenge. My work and presentations have me dabbling at this and yet being frustrated by the cultural tsunami of trite, bias and untruths bites that flood our feeds.
There is something uncanny about reading historical texts. I recently read a critique of MOOCs, only to then discover that it was five years old.

In your reflections I was taken by your current stance to:

  • Talk less.
  • Question everything.
  • Utilize the right spaces for the right purposes.

This is similar to my own recent reflection to:

  • Critically Reflect and Ask Questions
  • Learn from and through others
  • Engage in new challenges.

Social spaces have changed. They are not what they once were. However, it is disconcerting when we were warned so long ago.

I am off to find a copy of Amusing Ourselves to Death and dig into the past a little bit more.