In spite of

Audrey’s post explaining why she’s stepping away from ed-tech for good was something that resonated with me in a few different ways. I’ve also been a fan of Desmos (the tool) and Dan Meyer (the person) for a long time. That’s going back many years (2009 easily). But I separate the tool and the person from the business.1 Audrey’s post led to a conversation with Jim and his post has inspired this post. I imagine being Ed Tech’s Cassandra as a depressing path. Looking at previous edtech travesties to contextualize the mess currently being pursued at massive profit is not going to make anyone who cares about humans happy. There’s some joy in being right. There’s the hope that maybe you prevent some bad choices but being a bad-news-Nostradamus2 is not a fun long-term occupation. Audrey provided research, history, and a compelling narrative but I’m confident she could accurately predict these futures without bothering with any of that. I’ve always suffered when I look at scale, when I focus on how little we’ve taken advantage of the potential, when I look at the timeline required for institutional change, when I see what failed to catch on in the 1960s.3 The basic problem is that edtech is a bag of gold. It’s just not the same bag of gold for lots […]


Killing People with Bronze Axes

Bronze Age Orientation The “lessons” in the video are funny because they’re true (I think I’m quoting Homer Simpson)- don’t be a pompous ass (period, but especially not when advocating for a major change) positive version – Be humble. You don’t know everything and your way is not the only way. don’t make change a threat or tie it to a threat (the tribes with the bronze axes will kill you, the kids won’t learn etc.) positive version – Tie the change to positive outcomes for those involved. Focus on how it will improve their life. Why is it worthwhile for them? don’t put down the old ways (and then they’ll throw away your stone axes because they’re rubbish) positive version – Honor the past*. Even if you hate the old way, insulting it will tend to increase resistance to change. In education, the focus should be on adding tools and exploring options rather than in taking them away. The bronze shoes and window are also pretty similar to the “must use twitter based podcasts wikis” in class mentality too often seen in EduBlogosphere Land. Tools are tools and each has its place. This video shows the hypothetical meeting held to discuss changing from stone age technology to bronze age technology. You’ve got the reluctance you normally see (funny but […]


Lord of the Rings – Web 2.0 Style

[kml_flashembed movie=”http://youtube.com/v/YVYLhDTv3eM” width=”425″ height=”350″ wmode=”transparent” /] I saw this on Neatorama. It’s worth checking out for the mix of web 2.0 story telling twists. You’ve got chat, emoticons, a Middle Earth twist on Google Maps some texting. It’s a multimedia extension of the chat room colonization of the US concept. You’ve got lots of room to play with this concept in a variety of subjects – history and English are pretty obvious but you could use it wherever there’s an interaction of objects and create a narrative around it. It’d work in chemistry (enzymes as instigators comes to mind), science (biomes, cell interactions) and government (it’d be a fun way to look at the bill to law process- maybe as a Google Map).