David Kernohan recently let loose with a fantastic riff on the ubiquitous Hype Cycle…you know the one, right? The one that looks like a flat-lining ECG, but nothing like a cycle.
Well, Kernohan, fueled by nachos, beer and train induced catatonia produced this update to Gartner’s graph:
Aside from Kernohan’s criticism of the hype cycle, which I think is highly relevant, I am particularly amused by some of the ‘data points’ (make sure you check out his detailed methodology section…) on the graph. It will be very interesting to watch the xMOOCs free fall from their current status as the poster children for ’21st century teaching and learning’ straight through the bottom of the trough of disillusionment into the footnotes of ed psych chapters on BF Skinner and programmed instruction.
But I think the most brilliant gem comes later in the post:
We will never, never solve education with technology. It won’t work. We will solve education with education, and we will solve education with a way of educating that is closer to collaborative play than anything we currently do.
It seems to me that there are a whole lot of people who think that technology will save education because technology makes things easier. It is easier to find information, to do research, to create and share stuff and onandonandon. But the trouble is that technology isn’t a tool that makes things easier, it is a tool that amplifies what is already there, for good or ill. If the person using the technology is easily distracted, then technology will amplify that distractedness. If the user is studious and resourceful, then technology will amplify that.
And even if technology wasn’t that amplifier, who decided that the best way to educate someone was to make the process ‘easier’? Derek Muller, over at Veritasium, discovered that learning was enhanced when video resources were more difficult and complicated compared to when they were simple and straightforward. It would seem that learning is hard work, especially when complex thinking skills are involved.
So what does this have to do with my 2013 ed tech predictions? Well, pretty much everything. Technology will continue to be used for good and for evil by teachers and administrators everywhere, some students will be able to improve their learning by using tech tools that amplify their already good study habits, and some will be distracted from the work of learning by tools that make it fantastically easy to give behemoth companies ever increasing access to their personal lives and data.
Ed Tech predictions 2013 by Colin Madland is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.