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February 20, 2011

It takes intellectual chutzpah to be serious about replacing “using technology to improve education” by a similar sounding statement with a very different meaning: “inventing new visions of education in the context of a digital world.” And it takes personal chutzpah to face down members of the Education Establishment when they sneer (or worse, smile) at the idea of technology significantly influencing the content of education. “It is just a tool,” they say; “technology should serve the curriculum, not dictate it.”

It is lack of chutzpah that prevents many of our colleagues from looking the would-be humanist in the eye and saying: “No, Doctor Professor, the boot is on the other foot. It is your established curriculum and your concept of School that were dictated by technology—the pre-twentieth century technology of writing, printing, and calculating. The real offer of digital technology is liberation from the consequences of having been restricted by these primitive tools!”

Papert, S. (1998) Let’s Tie the Digital Knot. In Technos Quarterly. Vol. 7, No. 4, Winter 1998

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1 Response

  1. Papert is spot-on and the elitist snobs are dead wrong. Despite the epic failures in the last 50 years, the educational establishment keep hanging on the the same old solutions. As Einstein said, “you can’t fix problems with same methods that created them.”