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The History of Ed-Tech: What Went Wrong?
"There’s a popular origin story about education technology: that, it was first developed and adopted by progressive educators, those interested in “learning by doing” and committed to schools as democratic institutions. Then, something changed in the 1980s (or so): computers became commonplace, and ed-tech became commodified – built and sold by corporations, not by professors or by universities. Thus the responsibility for acquiring classroom technology and for determining how it would be used shifted from a handful of innovative educators (often buying hardware and software with their own money) to school administration; once computers were networked, the responsibility shifted to IT. The purpose of ed-tech shifted as well – from creative computing to keyboarding, from projects to “productivity.” (And I’ll admit. I’m guilty of having repeated some form of this narrative myself.)

[tweet: "What if the decentralized, open web was a historical aberration, an accident between broadcast models, not an ideal that was won then lost?"
https://twitter.com/ibogost/status/644994975797805056 ]

But what if, to borrow from Ian Bogost, “progressive education technology” – the work of Seymour Papert, for example – was a historical aberration, an accident between broadcast models, not an ideal that was won then lost?

There’s always a danger in nostalgia, when one invents a romanticized past – in this case, a once-upon-a-time when education technology was oriented towards justice and inquiry before it was re-oriented towards test scores and flash cards. But rather than think about “what went wrong,” it might be useful to think about what was wrong all along.

Although Papert was no doubt a pioneer, he wasn’t the first person to recognize the potential for computers in education. And he was hardly alone in the 1960s and 1970s in theorizing or developing educational technologies. There was Patrick Suppes at Stanford, for example, who developed math instruction software for IBM mainframes and who popularized what became known as “computer-assisted instruction.” (Arguably, Papert refers to Suppes’ work in Mindstorms when he refers to “the computer being used to program the child” rather than his own vision of the child programming the computer.)

Indeed, as I’ve argued repeatedly, the history of ed-tech dates at least as far back as the turn of the twentieth century and the foundation of the field of educational psychology. Much of we see in ed-tech today reflects those origins – the work of psychologist Sidney Pressey, the work of psychologist B. F. Skinner, the work of psychologist Edward Thorndike. It reflects those origins because, as historian Ellen Condliffe Lagemann has astutely observed, “One cannot understand the history of education in the United States during the twentieth century unless one realizes that Edward L. Thorndike won and John Dewey lost.”

Ed-tech has always been more Thorndike than Dewey because education has been more Thorndike than Dewey. That means more instructivism than constructionism. That means more multiple choice tests than projects. That means more surveillance than justice.
(How Thorndike's ed-tech is now being rebranded as “personalization” (and by extension, as progressive education) – now that's an interesting story..."

[via: ""Edward L. Thorndike won and John Dewey lost" is pretty much the perfect tl;dr version of the history of education."
https://twitter.com/jonbecker/status/884460561584594944

See also: "Or David Snedden won. People forget about him."
https://twitter.com/doxtdatorb/status/884520604287860736 ]
audreywatters  ianbogost  johndewey  seymourpapert  edtech  computers  technology  education  ellencondliffe  edwardthorndike  bfskinner  sidneypressey  psychology  management  administration  it  patricksuppes  constructivism  constructionism  progressive  mindstorms  progressiveeducation  standardization  personalization  instructivism  testing  davidsnedden  history 
july 2017 by robertogreco
Reclaiming Innovation
"Udell notes: "There's a reason I keep finding novel uses for these trailing-edge technologies. I see them not as closed products and services, but rather as toolkits that invite their users to adapt and extend them.""

"Rather than framing everything at the course level, we should be deploying these technologies for the individual."

"Viewed as a whole, the web today bears little resemblance to the innately democratic and decentralized network that seduced and enticed us a decade ago."

"Railing against the academy's failure to embrace a perceived risk can be dismal fun for many of us, but an honest appraisal of our own missteps has to be in the mix."
2014  jimgroom  brianlamb  audreywatters  internet  web  highered  highereducation  it  ict  technology  mooc  moocs  disruption  open  edupunk  lms  openpublishing  publishing  adomainofone'sown  diy  decentralization  anildash  georgesiemens  stephendownes  jonudell  benjaminbratton  vendors  silos  security  privacy  venturecapital  tonyhirst  timberners-lee  bryanalexander  openness  reclaimhosting  indieweb 
june 2014 by robertogreco
Episode Nine: Everything In Silos, Forever and Ever, Amen
"Just Good Enough is bullshit. Just Good Enough means that a company doesn't have to produce a useable site that provides easily findable manuals or reference for its product, because Google will index that content eventually. Just Good Enough means I can just about use your site on my phone. Just Good Enough means that the timekeeping software that everyone in the building uses (and has to use - otherwise the entire business screeches to a halt) is only Just Not Irritating Enough to have to deal with. Just Good Enough means that you can whip up a Word document that you can save and then email to me for comment and I can open it up where it's saved in my Temporary Outlook Files and then save it as Your Document - Dan Comments.doc in my Temporary Outlook Files and then email it back to you, where you'll revise it and then send it to a project manager who will then rename it Your Document - Dan Comments - Final Feb 4 2014.doc and then email it back to me for more comments. Or where Google Docs is Just Good Enough to use single sign on so that in theory we can all use it together, but that its text formatting doesn't quite work and not everyone uses it.

It's bullshit. Just Good Enough should be offensive. Just Good Enough is the digital/software equivalent of a bridge that doesn't quite kill anyone most of the time, instead of one that actually does the fucking job. "

[…]

"This is what the threat of the consumerisation of IT is, then, to entrenched divisions and groups. It means that five years ago, the apocryphal story of someone at the BBC being quoted however many tens of thousands of pounds for a Rails server from outsourced IT deciding to, bluntly, fuck it and just stick an AWS instance on their card and expense it was the inevitable sharp end of the wedge: digital, devolved from some sort of priesthood that existed to serve itself, and instead unlocking its potential to the people who have problems that need solving now, and don't particularly care whether something is a solution or not, or has properly gone through procurement (and yes, I realize that this opens you to the possibility of a raft of 'Just Good Enoughs').

But you can't have one without the other. Leadership that reacts to teams reaching for their cards and organically using AWS or Basecamp or whatever because it's Just Good Enough and flies under the procurement radar, or reaching out to Get Stuff Done with small external groups rather than using internal resource by asking: "what's the problem here, and why are our employees choosing to react in this way rather than internally?" and fixing that internal provision of resource are the ones that are going to win. Which is, again, why GDS is building internal capability rather than external.

In a conversation with GDS's Russell Davies about this, the one comment of his that stood out was that none of this was new to those of us who've been working in digital or interactive. There was no stunning insight, no secret sauce, no magic recipe. Just that, from a leadership and organizational point of view, digital was an important concept to align around as a way of achieving their goals: and then, GDS conceived on (again, my external reckoning) with teams constructed around delivery. It was just that the will was there.

So here's the thing. (And this type of wrapping up inevitably feels like a Church of England sermon or Thought for the Day).

Siloed organisations, where digital is "over there", aren't going to succeed. At the very least, they're only going to unlock a fraction of the opportunity that's available to them. At the very worst, they'll find themselves both slowly ("oh, they've only got a few tens of thousands of users") and quickly (Blackberry, Nokia) disrupted. Runkeeper will come and eat their lunch. Netflix will become the next video network. Uber, much as I hate them for being Uber, will come along and work out that hey, digital actually can make your business of cars that move things from one place to another better for the end user. 

They're just not. 

It's just a question of how fast we get there.

My brother, when asked when video games will finally be treated as mainstream culture, used to say: "When enough people die." 

GDS is showing that we don't need people to die for digital to work. We just need leadership that wants it."

[Reference post: http://russelldavies.typepad.com/planning/2013/04/the-unit-of-delivery.html ]
danhon  2014  gov.uk  russelldavies  services  digital  organizations  technology  edtech  bbc  basecamp  problemsolving  leadership  management  siloing  culture  it  justgoodenough 
february 2014 by robertogreco
Apple’s Shock To Corporate Computing - Quentin Hardy - At Your Servers - Forbes
"Yes, both Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android machines are small and nonstandard. They require connectivity. They may not be secure. The greater reality is: They are in offices. They work. People will use them, whether corporate Information Technology managers like it or not. Like it they should, at least on the basis of cost – in many cases people are buying these themselves, remember, and the stuff costs less to operate. In the whole business of corporate computing using Internet technologies – cloud computing – these consumer devices may be the forcing issue."
byod  edtech  enterprise  it  consumerdriven  apple  android  google  chromelaptops  computing  business 
july 2011 by robertogreco
Project Cybersyn: Chile 2.0 in 1973 | iRevolution
"I had never heard of this project but Eden’s talk made we want to cancel all my weekend plans and read her dissertation from MIT, which I’m literally downloading as I type this. If you’d like an abridged version, I’d recommend reading her peer-reviewed article which won the 2007 IEEE Life Member’s Prize in Electrical History: “Designing Freedom, Regulating a Nation: Socialist Cybernetics in Allende’s Chile” (PDF)."
chile  cybernetics  surveillance  cybersyn  economics  internet  it  history  staffordbeer  edenmedina 
august 2010 by robertogreco
Children as the Trojan horse | The Fifth Conference
"I guess the problem begins with our educational system, which is rotten. Children hate school. The problem is that they hate education, while they love to learn. All children love to learn. There are two things—essential things—we do not teach at school: functional technology and money...We need to teach kids to learn to navigate a world that is becoming more and more technological...Children must learn to play with maths. And we must teach them to work with resources like Wikipedia, but as critical thinkers, as people who understand how that knowledge system is put together. Ultimately it is all about teaching kids to learn and to think...“Today what we teach is confusion.”
olpc  it  education  learning  tcsnmy  lcproject  children  highered  compartmentalization  interdisciplinary  multidisciplinary  culture  europe  innovation  us  criticalthinking  skepticism  wikipedia  unschooling  deschooling  business  walterdebrouwer  belgium  curiosity 
may 2010 by robertogreco
The High Priests of IT — And the Heretics - Now, New, Next - HarvardBusiness.org
"The dirty secret of corporate IT is that its primary mission is to serve yesterday's technology needs, even if that means strangling tomorrow's technology solutions. The myth of corporate IT is that it alone possesses the wisdom to decide which technologies will allow the workers on the front line to work better, faster and smarter... The fact is that the most dreadful violators of corporate policy — the ones getting that critical file to a supplier using Gmail because the corporate mail won't allow the attachment, the ones using IM to contact a vacationing colleague to find out how to handle a sticky situation, the incorrigible Twitterer who wants to sign up all his colleagues as followers through the work day — are also the most enthusiastic users of technology, the ones most apt to come up with the next out-of-left-field efficiency for the firm.
corydoctorow  productivity  it  technology  business  future  culture  innovation  change  corporations  creativity 
march 2009 by robertogreco
Cory Doctorow: One Laptop Per Child - what went wrong? | Technology | guardian.co.uk
“Mobile phones are necessarily an interim step. Adding software...difficult or impossible without permission of a central carrier...very hard for local technologists who have a very particular, local itch that needs scratching ...Mobile phone use is always metered, limiting their use and exacting a toll on people who can least afford to pay it. Worst of all, the centralised nature of mobile networks means that in times of extremis, governments and natural disasters will wreak havoc on our systems, just as we need them most.
olpc  corydoctorow  technology  mobile  phones  education  digitaldivide  laptops  development  it  africa  future 
january 2009 by robertogreco
Cognitive Edge - We just forgot about it for a while
"She quoted Alan Webber of Fast Company who said: What’s new about the new economy is that work is conversation. Partly in order to provide continuity, but also as a part of a general theme I am developing that social computing takes on the form of an older oral tradition, I added my own codicil: It always has been, we just forgot about it for a while. This is important, its not that social computing creating some completely new form of human interaction, what it has done is to enable conversations across barriers and boundaries. We can now be a global tribe (or rather tribes), if we can make the changes that the technology permits. Given some of the conversations that ensued from my brief polemic on IT departments that change may not be easy!"
conversation  networking  socialnetworking  it  work  via:preoccupations 
december 2008 by robertogreco
Cognitive Edge - The major obstacle to the adoption of social computing
"the biggest obstacle to adoption is not gaining participation, but the IT department trying to over-constrain the system to retain control of an environment which by its very nature needs to be a evolutionary. They want to choose one application when multiple changing applications in different combinations are more effective. Worst still, fitting all the social computing requirements into one enterprise wide purchase. Its a cycle really: remember all the problems to shift IT departments away from build it yourself to enterprise wide application software? It took years. Now they are locked into that approach, unable to see that the paradigm has shifting again. Increasing costs, reducing interaction, damaging corporate effectiveness; shielding themselves behind a cloak of security and audit train that does not bear scrutiny."
via:preoccupations  socialnetworking  it  ict  control  self-preservation 
november 2008 by robertogreco
Infoporn: Tap Into the 12-Million-Teraflop Handheld Megacomputer
"next stage in technological evolution is...the One Machine...hardware is assembled from our myriad devices, its software is written by our collective online behavior...the Machine also includes us. After all, our brains are programming & underpinning it"
computing  wired  cloud  kevinkelly  cloudcomputing  evolution  singularity  science  innovation  infodesign  collectiveintelligence  intelligence  computers  human  networks  mobile  mind  visualization  internet  future  brain  crowdsourcing  ai  data  it  learning2.0  trends  storage 
july 2008 by robertogreco
The Obvious?: Most companies who try to do Enterprise 2.0 will fail
"5. They will grind down their early adopters until they give up. 6. They will get fleeced by the IT industry for over engineered, under delivering solutions, think that Enterprise 2.0 failed to live up to its promise and move on to the next fad."
via:preoccupations  it  ict  technology  enterprise2.0  change  business  collaboration  socialsoftware  socialnetworks  socialmedia  efficiency  enterprise  failure  innovation  strategy  productivity 
june 2008 by robertogreco
I.T. 2.0 - ReadWriteWeb
"With all these changes, the new I.T. person will be very different than they are today. Those that have the skills of an engineer and the knowledge needed to run I.T. 2.0 are going to be superstars, but they also might be rare."
business  technology  enterprise2.0  it  ict  readwriteweb  mobile  internet  enterprise  trends  cloud  mobility  work  cloudcomputing 
june 2008 by robertogreco
A Computer Lab That Students Use but Never See - Chronicle.com [related: http://www.longtail.com/the_long_tail/2007/02/who_needs_a_cio.html]
"I got tired of telling users what they couldn't do," says Samuel F. Averitt, vice provost for IT at NC State. "The central-IT guy is about control and ownership. We're trying to get out of that business, and say, Do it however you want to do it."
ict  it  schools  control  virtualization  computers  education  technology  universities  colleges 
may 2008 by robertogreco
I, Cringely . The Pulpit . Reality Check | PBS
"Much of this comes down to the decided lack of professionalism in IT, which is after all a very new job classification. There is a huge difference, for example, between someone with an engineering degree and someone in IT who calls himself an engineer."
cringely  ict  it  management  productivity  software  technology  work 
may 2008 by robertogreco
» This ain’t yo mama’s e-portfolio, part 1 WPMu Ed
"Schools should be in business of managing data flows rather than supporting end to end user experience. We can only dream what might result if the energy going into the campus-wide LMS’s would go into creating flexible, easy to use “syndication buses
blogging  blogs  education  lms  eportfolios  ples  online  schools  it  walledgardens 
may 2008 by robertogreco
The importance of pigheadedness. Strange Attractor: Picking out patterns in the chaos
"To be successful at social software implementations in business: have solid understanding of how people work & relate to computers, tools, each other; understand how to introduce tools in way that is non-threatening, emphasises utility & benefits"
it  ict  technology  socialnetworking  socialsoftware  via:preoccupations  clayshirky  change  work  leadership  administration  management 
may 2008 by robertogreco
Harold Jarche » Boring is good
"Message to tool builders - you cannot be ubiquitous inside a walled garden." + "The litmus test for any community software should be, “is it easier than e-mail?”, because that is what most users will compare it to."
it  ict  walledgardens  technology  systems  tools  online  internet  community  virtual  ubiquitous  accessibility  email 
may 2008 by robertogreco
IT's Not about the Technology - Tom Austin - Web 2.0 | Fast Company
"Gartner researcher Tom Austin on why your head of IT should be a cultural anthropologist and why you should think twice before you block YouTube."
it  policy  anthropology  socialnetworking  collaboration  education  management  administration  leadership  trends  future  jobs  ict  socialmedia  networks  technology  students  teens  millennials  generations  business 
april 2008 by robertogreco
Younger Workers More Likely to Break Corporate Rules for Web Apps - CIO.com - Business Technology Leadership
"As the new generation of workers blurs the line between work and play online, a study by Symantec shows that IT departments need to balance the security risks these users pose with the techno-savvy they bring to the office."
it  work  generations  millennials  socialsoftware  security  business  web2.0  socialnetworking  im  email  technology 
april 2008 by robertogreco
Enterprise Wikis Seen As a Way to End 'Reply-All' E-Mail Threads
"Socialtext's president and co-founder talks about wikis as an enterprise collaboration tool and what wikis mean to companies, their IT departments, and a whole new generation of workers."
wikis  enterprise  work  productivity  communication  it  technology  generations  millennials  collaboration  tools  socialtext  via:preoccupations 
march 2008 by robertogreco
Pleasing Google's Tech-Savvy Staff - WSJ.com
"Unlike many IT departments that try to control technology workers use...Google employees download software on their own, choose between several types of computers & operating systems, use internal software built by company's engineers."
business  it  google  work  management  security  freedom  technology  internet  liberalism  cloud  computers  computing  enterprise  trends 
march 2008 by robertogreco
Tuttle SVC: Advocating for Boring
"many initiatives in current 1:3 or 1:4 student to computer ratio schools have failed not because of lack of training, but lack of ubiquity & consistency...teacher must feel that computers are here, work, aren't going away, ever."
technology  schools  professionaldevelopment  ubiquity  computers  laptops  mobile  phones  it  leadership  administration  management  teaching  olpc 
march 2008 by robertogreco
Coroflot - Coroflot's Creative Seeds Blog
"feeding frenzy currently going on, as companies large and small seek interaction designers to do...well...whatever it is that they do...Determining how one actually becomes an Interaction Designer is an even tougher challenge."
ux  ixd  interaction  interactiondesign  usability  careers  core77  design  it  terminology  marketing  advertising  gamechanging 
january 2008 by robertogreco
humanitarian.info » Beware of Geeks bearing Gifts
"How do we get more “Non-geeks” to use information technology and tools on a consistent basis?"
ict  training  education  it  tools  learning  schools  cv  via:migurski 
december 2007 by robertogreco
Subtraction: If It Looks Like a Cow, Swims Like a Dolphin and Quacks Like a Duck, It Must Be Enterprise Software
"high-dollar applications that businesses use to run internal operations (everything that falls under human resources...accounting, communications...) are some of the least friendly, most difficult systems ever committed to code."
software  enterprise  design  coding  interface  ux  usability  portal  process  it  management  marketing  business  technology 
october 2007 by robertogreco
ITConversations and SIConversations: Better together « Jon Udell
IT "began life in regime of scarcity...compute cycles, storage, bandwidth...always short supply...focus on doing more w/ less. Until recently, that is. Efficiency still matters, but increasingly there are big payoffs for designs that assume resources are
sustainability  software  energy  construction  transportation  it  administration  future  abundance  scarcity  gamechanging  change 
october 2007 by robertogreco
Internet Evolution - The Site for News, Analysis, and Opinion about the Future of the Internet
"At Internet Evolution we believe that the next huge leap forward in the history of the Internet is happening now – and the goal of our site is to gauge its likely impact on every aspect of life as we know it."
convergence  evolution  internet  it  technology  trends  future  futurism  now  web  online  news  predictions  assessment  gamechanging  reference  media 
october 2007 by robertogreco
Headshift :: Behind "Enterprise 2.0" Performance: Exploitation or Exploration?
"If we live in a knowledge economy, we have to value people in the know. It is counterproductive to have people in command who are not aware of what happens in their domain. Position is always a sign of authority, not always a sign of relevance and legiti
leadership  management  gamechanging  open  socialsoftware  socialnetworks  future  administration  it  knowledge  productivity 
october 2007 by robertogreco
Ross Mayfield's Weblog: Chris Anderson on Abundance in IT
lots here..."Somewhere someone got stuck in a scarcity mindset and now we are creating a productivity drain....Don’t make people jump through....hoops, the cost of experimentation is free...terrifying conclusion: we may have to trust our employees.
gamechanging  change  children  chrisanderson  computers  management  administration  schools  colleges  universities  it  business  technology  leadership  society  scarcity  longtail  software  trends  web2.0  networking  internet  risk  innovation  education  culture  abundance  socialsoftware  security  trust  free 
september 2007 by robertogreco
The Long Tail: Who needs a CIO?
too much to quote; more reasons for schools to stop providing software and web services and let users pick and choose their own from what is (mostly) freely available on the web.."users want a dumb pipe, preferably at gigabit speed"
gamechanging  change  children  chrisanderson  computers  management  administration  schools  colleges  universities  it  business  technology  leadership  society  scarcity  longtail  software  trends  web2.0  networking  internet  risk  innovation  education  culture  abundance  usability  philosophy  politics  users  web 
september 2007 by robertogreco

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