The Edtech Curmudgeon

What's wrong - and right - about technology in education

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Running in my Father's Footsteps

Note: This obviously has nothing to do with EdTech but I recently found this essay that I wrote in July 2008 and it still feels timely for me so I thought I'd offer it up as a Father's Day (and Independence Day) offering for you all.My Dad at Will Rogers State Park, approximately 1964Running in my Father's FootstepsUnlike me, my dad was a pretty good...

Humanized Learning: Utopia versus Dystopia

As part of the recent ShapingEDU gathering I was invited to develop a brief utopian/dystopian vision for education in the year 2039. I chose to imagine what Humanized Learning could become, if we stay true to human values (utopia) or use it as a commercial buzzword (dystopia). I'm happy to share these scenarios here & interested in your response.Students...

How Academic Pricing Works: A Fantasy Dialog

I recently engaged in a Twitter conversation with respected colleagues about institutions that charge an extra fee for online courses. They were arguing that this fee was arbitrary and unfair and I agree totally. However, some of their comments suggested that they don't have the experience that I do with the (often arbitrary) fees that get charged....

Lessons from Protesting

photo CC-BY-NC-SA 3.0 www.foundsf.orgAs I watch the activity on campuses around the US on #NationalWalkoutDay, I'm vividly reminded of my own experience as a student growing up in the last great era of student protest.In 1968 I was in sixth grade at Mar Vista Elementary in Los Angeles. 1968 was a remarkable, violent, turbulent, divided year, not just...

The Undead Factoid: Who Decided 65% of the Jobs of the Near Future Don't Exist Today?

An article published this week on singularityhub.com leads with the following breathless description of the future of work:We live in a world of accelerating change. New industries are constantly being born and old ones are becoming obsolete. A report by the World Economic Forum reveals that almost 65 percent of the jobs elementary school students will...

The Edtech Curmudgeon's Top Predictions for 2017

photo credit: Viewminder @ FlickrWell, it's that time again. Time to look back at all the wonder that was the year 2016, and to look forward with excitement and trepidation to 2017.They say that Alan Kay said that "The best way to predict the future is to invent it." They say that, although I once spent a day with Alan Kay and not once did he say it....

Three Laws of Bureaucracy

As I executed one of my important job functions as a senior administrator - scrawling my name in ink on pieces of paper - #2 below came to mind. For completeness, I figured I needed three. Not terribly original I know, but it made me feel a little better...The Three Laws of BureaucracyAn institution at rest tends to stay at rest.For every action, there's...

What Happens When Everyone Gets Their Own Logos

One of the hats I wear on campus is oversight of Marketing & Communications. Like most campuses we have a style guide and a set of web standards, which discourages you from creating your own logo and putting it on the web along with the campus logo.Creating a logo is fun, and no matter what your campus logo is, there are some who will hate it and...

How Broken is Email?

Email, which started as a transformation in the history of communication, seems to be close to a complete breakdown. Do any of you not struggle to find the nuggets of important information amidst the noise? How often do you send an important message via email and have to follow up via text or phone to find out if it got through? I don't know what will...

Using Technology Alone Doesn't Guarantee Better Outcomes - So Why Reward It?

For 25 years, my colleague Casey Green has surveyed campuses about the use and impact of technology in his Campus Computing survey. I'm a big fan of the survey because it's the largest body of longitudinal data we have on the topic. Just last week, Casey released a summary of the 2015 data, and as usual, there's lots of interesting stuff to chew on....

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