Tweets from the RMS Titanic

History repeats – or so they say. Edward John Smith’s ship was thought un-sinkable until 1517 people died on the night of 14 April 1912 when it hit an ‘iceburg’. It used the most advanced technology available at the time – yet failed to recognise the significance of the warnings, but more importantly, communication technology.

“a message from the steamer Amerika warned that large icebergs lay in the Titanic’s path, but as Jack Phillips and Harold Bride, the Marconi wireless radio operators, were employed by Marconi and paid to relay messages to and from the passengers, they were not focused on relaying such “non-essential” ice messages to the bridge.”(wikipedia)

History shows that time and again we fail to recognise the importance of communication technology until it reaches a critical point. Schools have a history of using computing as an instructional aid, university as a communication tool. Metaphoric ‘tools’, previously used for instruction, are now exploratory and constructive – they are best used for communication. Something that still appears lost on even the BBC.

As the new school year starts – teachers are relaying, what some consider non-essential messages about technology and pedagogy. Imagine if the passengers on the Titanic had Twitter – how different the story, if not the tragedy, might be. It’s a silly allegory as obviously today’s technology prevents such thing from repeating.  Please don’t hassle other teachers, executives, principals, politicians about non-essential messages about education – the party is in full swing and the water is calm. I wish all other radio operators sucess this year – and look forward to working with you.


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