Light Offerings

valuing learning technologies

Posted by jturner56 on November 12, 2012

Following up from the last light offering that highlighted the limited value of ed research in  valuing learning technologies, several experiences this past week point to an arising question, if not research what values do we use to judge the what, how and why of learning technologies?

As starting point, Nate Silver’s The Signal and the Noise points to the risk of intellectual nihilism when new media and new media overload pressure people to polarize their thinking. Sources increasingly are at least in part subjective.

So when I read The five most over-hyped trend in education and Dispelling the myths about 1:1 environments I did so with renewed interest in the subjective domain and rationalizations, as well as critical thinking inconsistencies. With so much to choose from new frameworks of choice and value are needed, to be able to move beyond personal opinion as published justifications.

To me it’s more and more about the community we wish to create together and the implications beyond. This in times where education is having to cater and contend with increasing personalized demands (from parents, teacher and students). Unless we hold to a bunkering down mentality, we require new emphases on

  • essential agreements
  • awareness raising (that is, including formal education in information processing techniques)
  • clarity of agreed objectives and available support
  • partnerships at all levels

Beyond this pedagogical choice will be influenced by the extent one holds to

  • constructionism (using digital technologies as a personal creation tool)
  • constructivism (using digital technologies in support of reflective meta-cognition)
  • connectionism (using digital technologies to connect beyond the physical four-walled classroom)
  • flattened learning (teachers utilizing student input for digital problem solving and creation)
  • visual learning (through the use of digital media)
  • self-centredness

As I continue to wade, surf and swim through the many currents and eddies of educational technology, more and more I wonder where the John Dewey of the 21st Century will come from. Someone who can join philosophical, psychological, scientific and curriculum insights into an overdue coherency. Perhaps moving beyond Learning By Doing to …….


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