5 things the Sage didn’t tell you

Educational Technology is disruptive – even linking the two words are controversial. So while the sage on the commercial stage will orbit, 21C ‘ideas’ and no doubt quote badly, here are 5 things they didn’t tell you. Because they can’t.

  1. Bucket and Spades.
    EdTech ‘tools’ plays only a small role in teachers adoption, adaption and transformation in ideology and philosophy of teachers, yet critical discipline in itself. Forget that and you play endless sand-pit games with tools, looking for the best bucket to work with the best spade, then arguing over who’s going to use it. Connecting to a marine diver and chatting via teacher moderators! Heppell did better in the 80s with far less kit. Today, you should be developing a virtual ocean and allowing kids to explore with the diver. Other wise its just bling, no immersion substance and student generated enquiry. Just to go the iMax and hand out a worksheet.
  2. It is not going to fit inside anything, it thrives outside of everything
    It defies current study patterns, refuses to fit into a time table, cannot be taught be one person and laughs at governance and hierarchical controls. It cannot be measured by a list of qualifications or applications and devices any one person uses. Most of all it demands the abandonment of software that for year’s we’ve been told is ‘information technology’. The bubble is the problem, keep your discourse to the realistic context that 90% of students experience. Talk about what you are doing that works INSIDE that and what PREVENTS it being pierced.
  3. We don’t treat adult teachers as adult learners
    Adult learners cannot be treated like apprentices, if indeed their role is as Master to the apprentice. Yet, that is the way it plays out in endless 21C – FYI sessions where the agenda is influenced by the cost of the event and the keynotes. No wonder we are at best dissonant, and increasingly weary – and for the most part excluded. Teaching adults, especially highly qualified and experienced ones – is not simplistic, at least recognise that. EdTech is a discipline. more reminiscent of studying a Masters not ‘training session’.
  4. It uses a ‘hidden’ curriculum
    That isn’t formally recognized, as it didn’t exist at the time many of the decision makers in education rose though the ranks. It is not often sufficiently understood, leading to a significant lack on emphasis in the way we are building education – and change. This curriculum is invisible to anyone not participating inside it. VW fans often say “It’s a VW thing, you probably wouldn’t get it”.
  5. We need tanks, not generals
    We need people who are prepared to be ‘tanks’ and deliver on action points. I’m so over FYI vendor/paid crap. Can we just get past the ‘thanks for giving us the money’ and now get into the real work of doing it. The stuff is here – how do we make educational outcomes better at the exit point for students.

2 thoughts on “5 things the Sage didn’t tell you

  1. Hi Dean – just found you via twitter.

    Reading through your blog. Wanted to tease out your thoughts on this last point:

    “We need people who are prepared to be ‘tanks’ and deliver on action points. I’m so over FYI vendor/paid crap. Can we just get past the ‘thanks for giving us the money’ and now get into the real work of doing it. ”

    What’s the FYI vendor / paid crap? Are you saying that there need to be more folks at the university willing to implement? Do you see vendors as limiting this?

    (And, as a side note, do you see Diigo as a vendor?)

    I absolutely love point #3 – and agree – typical conference dynamics overly elevate keynoters and thereby alienate the experts, and expertise, in the crowd. Unconferences are a great direction to address this.

    • FYI : Vendor ‘sales’ promotion; where we listen to ‘technology talks’ though the lens of a product. Many vendors use the ‘trojan’ horse strategy – recently I heard CISCO talker trying hard to align their products and services with assessment. Apple do this all the time – they call it a ‘podcasting workshop’ but the majority of the time is spent selling the product. Diigo is a vendor – however in my experience participate in the crowd – they are at unconferences and online; and directly help at the individual level, this is not the same as a big telco pushing its 3G service for example.

      I like a structured conference – but people want to do workshops and work up ideas with the expert as a guide and mentor. Not just be talked at by people who can’t do that.

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