Search Google for “ed-tech” and you’ll get three million hits. What’s one more self-promoter on a blog-sized soapbox? It’s still profound to talk about revolution and the unknown jobs of the future – right?
Yes, I’ve got some of that in me, but there are already enough tech-evangelists in the echo-chamber, so this blog aims to take a step back and examine some of the more concerning trends in ed-tech. What interests me in particular is the popular implication that everything we used to think about education no-longer applies. Far from being unique to ed-tech, these are the same progressive bromides that have dominated education for several decades.
The view that education is a pathetic shadow of what it could and should be is not, however, completely without merit. Too often though these complaints rely upon the straw man of a really terrible teacher boring a group of nice kids that have all the potential in the world if only the teacher would let them work in collaborative groups to make a poster about their feelings. If only.
That’s the gist of what I learned in teachers’ college ten years ago. Today, the tech-evangelists are saying basically the same thing, but now they want us to make a blog post instead of a poster. Again — this is not all, or even mostly, wrong, but there’s an awful lot of rhetoric which suggests that serious pedagogy is nothing but an impotent leftover from a crumbling educational bourgeoisie.
Well, I’m not much on Marxist constructs and I’m not persuaded that everything we used to think about education is now wrong. And even if it is, there is still a question to answer: what’s the way forward? It’s not enough to be a cheerleader. We must articulate arguments and test them in marketplace of ideas.
What better place than on a blog?