Are you part of the virtual-class?

If you’ve followed my posts of late, I’m getting darker on the use of technological determinism to pigeon hole educational media ‘users’. I don’t agree at all with conference speakers who proclaim the inevitable triumph of the hi-tech free market will have a flow on effect into how we educate children. They have been feeding off that myth for over a decade – and to me they have created a creepy induction process whereby ‘new users’ to their ecotopian ‘PLN’ is always via their ‘mechandise’ stalls. I get that it’s a great life-style for the virtual-class, but for most teachers, parents and students – it’s un-attainable and slightly bizarre these days.

The point of ‘new media’ was to help those who didn’t have access to information, use it to better their lives. The reality of Tapscott, Palfrey and scores of edu-authors floored ideology (towards teachers and students) is that being able to use technology offers no guarantee of continued employment and nothing like the considerable autonomy over their pace of work and place of employment these professional speakers assert has liberated ‘everyone’. 

Educational conferences (and their Twitter echo’s and shadows) present ever-widening social divisions, another apartheid between the ‘information-rich’ and the ‘information-poor’. There isn’t just the ‘virtual-class’, but increasing depictions (from the pulpit) of the virtual-under-class – those teachers who have computers but don’t use them properly. The irony is that this is the opinion of people like Tapscott, rather than the experience of kids and teachers who do the best they can with what they have. Without them (and kids playing COD, GTA-V), then the technological determinists who succeed in removing human social and emotional ties which obstruct their ‘free market’ agenda.

Yep, tea-bagging the determinists – I’m totally okay with that.