Articles Tagged with education technology

897541_we_are_lostCurious about how Web 2.0 is going to affect education? Steve Hargadon has distilled into one blog post an excellent summary of the trends that are leading us there and what teachers can do to help their students thrive in this new environment.

Much of what Steve talks about has been part of a vision for education long before computers were going into schools. There is a clear link from Dewey, Piaget, Vigotsky, and even the constructivist critic Mayer to the ideas Hargadon lays out.

Both the technology and the culture that surrounds it have matured to the point where this vision can transform into the dominant paradigm. Quantitative and anecdotal evidence backs this assertion up.

Students and Educators might as well live on different planets when it comes to social media, blogs, and other Web 2.0 technologies. The educators are making fear based decisions because the new technologies are unfamiliar to them. The students are too busy figuring out how it all works to bother paying attention to the restrictions the educators are putting in place. Fear and hope in sharp contrast.

AEP-Logo.gifThis disconnect was starkly drawn at the Association of Educational Publishers (AEP) annual summit in DC last week. A meeting ran long and I arrived at the sessions a few minutes late. I intended to lurk in the doorway of a couple of different presentations to see where I wanted to spend the next hour. What I observed sent my head spinning.

access_control_keyboard_version_1.jpgIn one room a panel of distinguished educators was discussing the challenges of bringing in new technologies. Their discussion centered on what the lawyers would let them do and the endless committee structures they had set up to screen what was permissible with blogs and other social media. Short answer – not much.

166x133.aspx.jpgWhere are breakthrough products like the Wii in education? Textbooks and education technology are stuck in a rut. Just like Sony and Microsoft got locked in a war over processor speeds and cutting edge graphics most of the competition in the education market seems increasingly focused on tangential issues to the customer’s core needs. For example…
* More foil on the cover!
* On-line lesson plans!
* 4 million item bank questions!
These efforts all mask the underlying problem. With everyone writing to the standards for the same 4-5 states textbooks are becoming a low growth zero sum commodity game. In an attempt to differentiate their basal textbooks the major publishers are increasingly cannibalizing their supplemental book bags for “free with order” goodies. They are also bolting technology on in an attempt to sex up the offerings.

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