May 11, 2011

“In my view, a key to the current trends of discussion about technology and education is an ironic fact about the imbalance between informational and constructional. Whereas the most qualitatively original contribution digital technology could make to education lies in redressing the imbalance, in fact the imbalance is increased by popular perception that so strongly favors the informational sides both of schools and of computers. Educational reform is being seriously held back by this match between an unrecognized dichotomy in digital technology and a generally unrecognized dichotomy in the education system. As a result, although there is a great deal of talk about putting more control in the hands of the students and replacing teaching by facilitating, in fact the image of computers in school becomes one of supporting the traditional role of teaching.”

Papert, S. (1999) “What is Logo? And Who Needs It?” In Logo Philosophy and Implementation. Montreal: LCSI. page XII

Comments

One Response to “May 11, 2011”
  1. JZA says:

    I guess there is this misconception that the institution will innovate. Where in fact the institution is build to do the opposite.

    Disruptive technologies are rather something that break many control circuits. Think of the record industry and the control of the distribution of their content.

    The academic institution is also about controlling the student population, so acting as a resource to disrupt itself is hard enough to grasp.

    Disruption should come from the decision makers (parents) that understand the benefit and can force a new scheme of education.

    You can already see many efforts on building this digital school, from wikiversity (part of wikipedia) to khan academy, to opencourseware.

    The prestige resonance is the only control belt that brings back disruption from being widely accepted. However I think that this prestige factor could be easily change through strong PR campaigns.

    I know is not the best topic to cover since PR usually change facts in order to present a scenario that might not be entirely true. However think about similar scenarios on mobile development, a few stories leaked of how regular developers found fame and fortune developing for the iphone, and now you see a very wide and growing industry on mobile development.

    Now talk about great jobs by people that had an online education, and never went to school, and how they are making a lot more money than Harvard graduates, and you might see a lot of parents exploring these options.