recentpopularlog in

robertogreco : wholechild   7

The Stories We Were Told about Education Technology (2018)
"It’s been quite a year for education news, not that you’d know that by listening to much of the ed-tech industry (press). Subsidized by the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, some publications have repeatedly run overtly and covertly sponsored articles that hawk the future of learning as “personalized,” as focused on “the whole child.” Some of these attempt to stretch a contemporary high-tech vision of social emotional surveillance so it can map onto a strange vision of progressive education, overlooking no doubt how the history of progressive education has so often been intertwined with race science and eugenics.

Meanwhile this year, immigrant, refugee children at the United States border were separated from their parents and kept in cages, deprived of legal counsel, deprived of access to education, deprived in some cases of water.

“Whole child” and cages – it’s hardly the only jarring juxtaposition I could point to.

2018 was another year of #MeToo, when revelations about sexual assault and sexual harassment shook almost every section of society – the media and the tech industries, unsurprisingly, but the education sector as well – higher ed, K–12, and non-profits alike, as well school sports all saw major and devastating reports about cultures and patterns of sexual violence. These behaviors were, once again, part of the hearings and debates about a Supreme Court Justice nominee – a sickening deja vu not only for those of us that remember Anita Hill ’s testimony decades ago but for those of us who have experienced something similar at the hands of powerful people. And on and on and on.

And yet the education/technology industry (press) kept up with its rosy repetition that social equality is surely its priority, a product feature even – that VR, for example, a technology it has for so long promised is “on the horizon,” is poised to help everyone, particularly teachers and students, become more empathetic. Meanwhile, the founder of Oculus Rift is now selling surveillance technology for a virtual border wall between the US and Mexico.

2018 was a year in which public school teachers all over the US rose up in protest over pay, working conditions, and funding, striking in red states like West Virginia, Kentucky, and Oklahoma despite an anti-union ruling by the Supreme Court.

And yet the education/technology industry (press) was wowed by teacher influencers and teacher PD on Instagram, touting the promise for more income via a side-hustle like tutoring rather by structural or institutional agitation. Don’t worry, teachers. Robots won’t replace you, the press repeatedly said. Unsaid: robots will just de-professionalize, outsource, or privatize the work. Or, as the AI makers like to say, robots will make us all work harder (and no doubt, with no unions, cheaper).

2018 was a year of ongoing and increased hate speech and bullying – racism and anti-Semitism – on campuses and online.

And yet the education/technology industry (press) still maintained that blockchain would surely revolutionize the transcript and help insure that no one lies about who they are or what they know. Blockchain would enhance “smart spending” and teach financial literacy, the ed-tech industry (press) insisted, never once mentioning the deep entanglements between anti-Semitism and the alt-right and blockchain (specifically Bitcoin) backers.

2018 was a year in which hate and misinformation, magnified and spread by technology giants, continued to plague the world. Their algorithmic recommendation engines peddled conspiracy theories (to kids, to teens, to adults). “YouTube, the Great Radicalizer” as sociologist Zeynep Tufekci put it in a NYT op-ed.

And yet the education/technology industry (press) still talked about YouTube as the future of education, cheerfully highlighting (that is, spreading) its viral bullshit. Folks still retyped the press releases Google issued and retyped the press releases Facebook issued, lauding these companies’ (and their founders’) efforts to reshape the curriculum and reshape the classroom.

This is the ninth year that I’ve reviewed the stories we’re being told about education technology. Typically, this has been a ten (or more) part series. But I just can’t do it any more. Some people think it’s hilarious that I’m ed-tech’s Cassandra, but it’s not funny at all. It’s depressing, and it’s painful. And no one fucking listens.

If I look back at what I’ve written in previous years, I feel like I’ve already covered everything I could say about 2018. Hell, I’ve already written about the whole notion of the “zombie idea” in ed-tech – that bad ideas never seem to go away, that just get rebranded and repackaged. I’ve written about misinformation and ed-tech (and ed-tech as misinformation). I’ve written about the innovation gospel that makes people pitch dangerously bad ideas like “Uber for education” or “Alexa for babysitting.” I’ve written about the tech industry’s attempts to reshape the school system as its personal job training provider. I’ve written about the promise to “rethink the transcript” and to “revolutionize credentialing.” I’ve written about outsourcing and online education. I’ve written about coding bootcamps as the “new” for-profit higher ed, with all the exploitation that entails. I’ve written about the dangers of data collection and data analysis, about the loss of privacy and the lack of security.

And yet here we are, with Mark Zuckerberg – education philanthropist and investor – blinking before Congress, promising that AI will fix everything, while the biased algorithms keep churning out bias, while the education/technology industry (press) continues to be so blinded by “disruption” it doesn’t notice (or care) what’s happened to desegregation, and with so many data breaches and privacy gaffes that they barely make headlines anymore.

Folks. I’m done.

I’m also writing a book, and frankly that’s where my time and energy is going.

There is some delicious irony, I suppose, in the fact that there isn’t much that’s interesting or “innovative” to talk about in ed-tech, particularly since industry folks want to sell us on the story that tech is moving faster than it’s ever moved before, so fast in fact that the ol’ factory model school system simply cannot keep up.

I’ve always considered these year-in-review articles to be mini-histories of sorts – history of the very, very recent past. Now, instead, I plan to spend my time taking a longer, deeper look at the history of education technology, with particular attention for the next few months, as the title of my book suggests, to teaching machines – to the promises that machines will augment, automate, standardize, and individualize instruction. My focus is on the teaching machines of the mid-twentieth century, but clearly there are echoes – echoes of behaviorism and personalization, namely – still today.

In his 1954 book La Technique (published in English a decade later as The Technological Society), the sociologist Jacques Ellul observes how education had become oriented towards creating technicians, less interested in intellectual development than in personality development – a new “psychopedagogy” that he links to Maria Montessori. “The human brain must be made to conform to the much more advanced brain of the machine,” Ellul writes. “And education will no longer be an unpredictable and exciting adventure in human enlightenment , but an exercise in conformity and apprenticeship to whatever gadgetry is useful in a technical world.” I believe today we call this "social emotional learning" and once again (and so insistently by the ed-tech press and its billionaire backers), Montessori’s name is invoked as the key to preparing students for their place in the technological society.

Despite scant evidence in support of the psychopedagogies of mindsets, mindfulness, wellness, and grit, the ed-tech industry (press) markets these as solutions to racial and gender inequality (among other things), as the psychotechnologies of personalization are now increasingly intertwined not just with surveillance and with behavioral data analytics, but with genomics as well. “Why Progressives Should Embrace the Genetics of Education,” a NYT op-ed piece argued in July, perhaps forgetting that education’s progressives (including Montessori) have been down this path before.

This is the only good grit:

[image of Gritty]

If I were writing a lengthier series on the year in ed-tech, I’d spend much more time talking about the promises made about personalization and social emotional learning. I’ll just note here that the most important “innovator” in this area this year (other than Gritty) was surely the e-cigarette maker Juul, which offered a mindfulness curriculum to schools – offered them the curriculum and $20,000, that is – to talk about vaping. “‘The message: Our thoughts are powerful and can set action in motion,’ the lesson plan states.”

The most important event in ed-tech this year might have occurred on February 14, when a gunman opened fire on his former classmates at Marjory Stone Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, killing 17 students and staff and injuring 17 others. (I chose this particular school shooting because of the student activism it unleashed.)

Oh, I know, I know – school shootings and school security aren’t ed-tech, ed-tech evangelists have long tried to insist, an argument I’ve heard far too often. But this year – the worst year on record for school shootings (according to some calculations) – I think that argument started to shift a bit. Perhaps because there’s clearly a lot of money to be made in selling schools “security” products and services: shooting simulation software, facial recognition technology, metal detectors, cameras, social media surveillance software, panic buttons, clear backpacks, bulletproof backpacks, … [more]
audreywatters  education  technology  edtech  2018  surveillance  privacy  personalization  progressive  schools  quantification  gamification  wholechild  montessori  mariamontessori  eugenics  psychology  siliconvalley  history  venturecapital  highereducation  highered  guns  gunviolence  children  youth  teens  shootings  money  influence  policy  politics  society  economics  capitalism  mindfulness  juul  marketing  gritty  innovation  genetics  psychotechnologies  gender  race  racism  sexism  research  socialemotional  psychopedagogy  pedagogy  teaching  howweteach  learning  howwelearn  teachingmachines  nonprofits  nonprofit  media  journalism  access  donaldtrump  bias  algorithms  facebook  amazon  disruption  data  bigdata  security  jacquesellul  sociology  activism  sel  socialemotionallearning 
december 2018 by robertogreco
UA Museum | Heart of the Country
"…story of Shinichi Yasutomo, extraordinary principal of a rural elementary school in Kanayama, central Hokkaido, Japan. Yasutomo is a man driven by his vision for learning & his passion for educating the heart as well as the mind. The film follows Yasutomo, his teachers & staff, students & their families over the course of one entire school year.

The film is also the story of the families of Kanayama. Parents & elders of this once impoverished town embrace Yasutomo's vision, but not w/out wary glances back to past. This small community, bound together by love for its children, is also defined by its journey through the cultural upheavals of postwar Japan.

Beyond intimate observation of everyday life, from morning gymnastics to the graduating ceremony, Heart of the Country takes viewers into the world of Japanese values, revealing how the school, family & community are bound together in a self-perpetuating relationship based upon obligation, mutual responsibility & trust."
shinichiyasutomo  japan  tcsnmy  community  schools  hokkaido  education  families  trust  relationships  wholechild  kindness  learning  teaching  tradition  culture  responsibility  obligation  via:lukeneff 
july 2011 by robertogreco
The Bellwether School
"At The Bellwether School we view education from a holistic perspective, which means, first, that we are concerned with the whole child—emotional, social, physical, moral, spiritual, artistic and creative as well as intellectual dimensions of their development—and second, that every child’s life is connected to wider contexts of experience—peers, family, community, culture, and the natural world. The goal of holistic education to facilitate a child in developing all aspects of themselves, to reach their full learning potential. Like all progressive educators, we see children as natural learners and honor that principle. We recognize that children already come to the classroom with many gifts; their multiple intelligences and languages, full potential, uniqueness, and natural curiosity. We strive to design a learning environment and to use teaching practices that support children’s characteristic ways of exploring, discovering, and constructing their knowledge of the world…"
bellwhetherschool  vermont  education  schools  progressive  intrinsicmotivation  learning  children  educationalphilosophy  philosophy  constructivism  community  burlington  williston  lcproject  wholechild  unschooling  deschooling  democraticschools  democracy  tcsnmy 
may 2011 by robertogreco
Technology and the Whole Child - Practical Theory
"For years, in our schools, teachers have told students that school is preparation for real life - a statement that divorced the meaning of school from the lives kids led in that moment. With the research, creation and networking tools at our disposal, we have the ability to help students see that the lives they lead now have meaning and value, and that school can be a vital and vibrant part of that meaning. We can help students to see the powerful humanity that exists both within them and all around them. And technology can be an essential piece of how we teach and learn about that."
technology  education  wholechild  constructivism  chrislehmann  johndewey  humanism  networking  socialnetworking  socialmedia  socialnetworks  teaching  learning  schools  change  reform  edtech  policy  progressive  tcsnmy  unschooling  deschooling  realworld 
february 2011 by robertogreco
Thomas L. Hopkins - Wikipedia
[via: https://twitter.com/steelemaley/status/39505288025477120 ]

"…he argued, contrary to many current interpretations of integrated curriculum, that integration is much more than merely combining subject matter areas around a common theme (i.e., the thematic unit) … incorporated a social dynamic to expand the idea of the development of the individual or personal organism. … showed that education is not a function of schooling alone. In this book, he developed the image of an organic group, contrasting it with a mere aggregate group, to depict the integration of school, home, and community.

Hopkins takes what was called "was curriculum" and called it useless. He then said "is curriculum," and then went on to say "celebrates the experiential…deals with the whole pupil who develops through internal control of the learnings that he or she self-selects for personal growth." He explained the is curriculum as what a student takes from a teacher and takes a better understanding of it to help them grow in higher maturity." [See link above for reference.]
thomashopkins  progressive  education  integratedlearning  learning  schools  schooling  unschooling  deschooling  curriculum  curriculumisdead  teaching  pedagogy  tcsnmy  wholechild  holisticapproach  experientiallearning  understanding 
february 2011 by robertogreco
The Answer Sheet - Why the Education Dept. should be eliminated -- Wood
"First, the current structure of the national Department of Education gives it inordinate control over local schools…<br />
<br />
Second, by separating education from health and welfare, we have separated departments that should be working very closely together. We all know, even if some folks are loath to admit it, that in order for a child to take full advantage of educational opportunities he or she needs to come to school healthy, with a full stomach, and from a safe place to live.<br />
<br />
But the federal initiatives around education seldom take such a holistic approach; instead, competing departments engage in bureaucratic turf wars that, while fun within the beltway, are tragic for children in our neighborhoods.<br />
<br />
Third, whenever you create a large bureaucracy, it will find something to do, even if that something is less than helpful…"
education  departmentofeducation  government  bureaucracy  georgewood  society  welfare  health  wholechild  holisticapproach  us  policy 
november 2010 by robertogreco
The Answer Sheet - What other countries are really doing in education
"To summarize:

*More emphasis on the whole child, physical education, the arts, fostering talents and citizen skills.

*Less emphasis on numeracy and literacy or testing

*Greater respect for teachers, the profession and their role as partners in educational reform.

I wonder if these people would be interested in putting together a manifesto?"
daltonmcguinty  canada  singapore  us  finland  education  policy  reform  2010  learning  schools  publicschools  numeracy  literacy  wholechild  tcsnmy  art  arts  creativity  teaching  respect  seanslade  international  comparison  timolankinen 
november 2010 by robertogreco

Copy this bookmark:





to read