Bookmarked A Manifesto Against EdTech© During an Emergency Online Pivot (Rolin Moe)

Instead of watching pandemic movies, my family started watching movies where bureaucracies fail to honestly account for contrary expert opinions, due to which the fallout is more widespread and dan…

Rolin Moe asks the question of the current pivot to online learning, just because you can, does that mean you should? Although many are talking about the opportunity afforded by the current crisis to reimagine education, Moe argues that now is not the time to introduce a plethora of techniques and tools.

You can’t teach someone to swim while they’re drowning.

Instead, he suggests we should be engaging with whatever is at hand.

What does kitchen math look like in an emergency online learning space? It is an engagement of the tools common to your environment and based fully in pedagogical principles. The technology informs the pedagogy. If the goal is instructor presence, why not film a short video on a mobile device reflecting on the relationship of the course and this time in life, and share it with students? If the concern is the validity of an examination, why not think about a way in which students could use those same cameras not to film or photograph themselves taking a multiple choice exam but constructing knowledge by building a manipulative at home that shows the relationship of the individual to instruction? If there’s a concern about some of the reading, use the telecommunications tools for discussion or even a read-aloud session. Working with what’s available not only eases the faculty burden, it grounds the learning in the environment of the learner. Everyone is dealing with the same emergency; the best tools to get through this are the ones we have regular interaction with, not those brought in as a panic buy with a significant instructional manual and learning curve.

In a separate response to the response of edtech, Audrey WattersAudrey Watters shares her concerns about surveillance associated with the move to online learning.

One of my greatest fears right now is that this pandemic strengthens this surveillance culture in school. And the new technologies, adopted to ease the “pivot to digital,” will exacerbate existing educational inequalities, will put vulnerable students at even more risk. These technologies will for foreclose possibilities for students and for teachers alike, shutting down dissent and discussion and curiosity and community.

Adding to this concern around surveillance, David WhiteDavid White highlights the importance of remembering trust and care when engaging in situations of negotiated risk.

As education moves online we are going to have to get better at stating, and upholding, our values around trust and care with the concomitant acknowledgment of the risk we are accepting to protect certain freedoms. If not, then education will continue to merge with the corporate/civic surveillance state we are now only too aware of. To avoid sleepwalking into this new normal there will be times where we must deliberately refuse to use aspects of the data and control which technology offers, even when there are demands framed in terms of fairness or reduction of risk.

Neil Selwyn captures this sentiment by highlighting the need for educators to remember the human aspects involved within technology.

Teachers need to have good awareness of the social, emotional and affective aspects of technology-based education, and feel confident in their capacity to respond appropriately. Teaching of any sort is never simply a technical process – this is certainly the case when teaching online.

Bookmarked What is innovation?

In writing almost 100 posts on innovation since 2007, it’s time to put the core observations together into a cohesive narrative. Here goes.
Innovation is fifteen different things to fifteen different people.
“An innovation is the implementation of a new or significantly improved product (good or…

Harold Jarche reflect on twelve years engaging with innovation. He discusses the importance of connections and working through a process. It is interesting to read this alongside Rolin Moe’s historical discussion of innovation.
Bookmarked The risks of treating ‘academic innovation’ as a discipline (opinion) | Inside Higher Ed (

Negotiating the future we want with the history we have is vital in order to determine the best structure to support the development of an inventive network for creating research-backed, criticism-engaged and outside-the-box approaches to the future of education. The energy behind what we today call academic innovation needs to be put toward problematizing and unraveling the causes of the obstacles facing the practice of educating people of competence and character, rather than focusing on the promotion of near-future technologies and their effect on symptomatic issues.

Rolin Moe argues that we need to recognise the often negative history associated with ‘innovation’ in the way that we use it. If we don’t do this we risk the word being simply an emotive tool.

Today’s shared language around innovation is emotive rather than procedural; we use innovation to highlight the desired positive results of our efforts rather than to identify anything specific about our effort (products, processes or policies). The predominant use of innovation is to highlight the value and future-readiness of whatever the speaker supports, which is why opposite sides of issues in education (see school choice, personalized learning, etc.) use innovation in promoting their ideologies.

This touches upon Audrey Watters message to respect history, rather than live in the ever present that so many try to perpetuate.