For some people and some learning styles, technology is a scary and uncomfortable word, let alone medium. Yes, students of today understand technology better than most adults. But, that doesn’t mean that all students understand technology to the same extent as their peers. We have created many opportunities to even the playing field for learning differences in our educational system, but have we done enough to do that with technology? Or do we just assume that all students understand it to the same extent and glide over those that don’t? I believe that we assume… We haven’t done enough to make sure that all students are comfortable with technology and we NEED to do that moving forward. Why? Because technology is here to stay and we need to make sure that we bring enough students along on this journey as possible.
Confusion gets a bad rap.
A textbook that confuses its readers sounds like a bad textbook. Teachers who confuse their students sound like bad teachers.
But research suggests that some of the time, confusion can actually be a good thing — an important step toward learning.
Some interesting research referenced here.
hat tip: mrkean.com
A great new book has me thinking about ed tech.
This is an interesting and useful analogy.
In ed tech, schools are the customers, but students are the users.
This also reminds me of the market disconnect between students and their textbooks. Professors are the ones targeted for the “sale” or adoption when the actual purchasers are the students. This causes all kinds of problems in the way the textbook market works and tends to drive prices up–compared to a market in which the student directly chooses their textbook. (And the set up is not too dissimilar to how the healthcare industry works in which the patient (customer) is making a purchase of health care coverage and not actually the health care itself.
Silicon Valley has lost some of its shine in recent months, what with the “fake news” and the bots and the hacks and the hate speech. All the promises about the democratization of information and power ring a little hollow nowadays. I’d say they rang a little hollow all along. Of course that’s what I’d say. I’ve been saying it for years now. There’s a new tale that’s being told with increasing frequency these days, in which tech industry executives and employees come forward – sometimes quite sheepishly, sometimes quite boldly – and admit that they have regrets, that they’re no longer “believers,” that they now recognize their work has been damaging to individuals and to society at large, that they were wrong. These aren’t apologies as much as they’re confessions.
An essay about technologists saying the equivalent of “Do as I say, not as I do.” and “Don’t pay any attention to that man behind the curtain.”
Seymour Papert’s Mindstorms was published by Basic Books in 1980, and outlines his vision of children using computers as instruments for learning. A second edition, with new Forewords by John Sculley and Carol Sperry, was published in 1993. The book remains as relevant now as when first published almost forty years ago.
The Media Lab is grateful to Seymour Papert’s family for allowing us to post the text here. We invite you to add your comments and reflections.
If you are interested in purchasing the print edition of Mindstorms, please visit Basic Books.
from the MIT Media Lab.