Tech v teaching: it’s a dialectic not a war

It’s not about the technology, it’s all about the learning. Learning then tech? Tech then learning? Both positions are wrong. Both sides have their book-selling evangelists. The truth is a little mroe prosaic.The relationship between learning and technology is a complex dialectic. It always has been and always will be. The great revolutions in technology, that shaped the learning landscape were writing, alphabets, writing instruments, paper, printing, books, calculators, computer, the internet– none of this technology came from the ‘learning’ community. What did come from the learning community were lecterns, blackboards and…. On the other hand a lot of learning technology has been shaped by great learning professionals who make it usable, productive and manageable. It’s not one way traffic – it’s cross-pollinated.

Nozick – the world is not simple

Nozick wrote a brilliant paper called Why Do Intellectuals Oppose Capitalism? And if you read it and replace Capitalism with Technology, you’ll see the parallel. The real world is messy, not at all simple. It is very different from the structured world of wordsmiths, schools, Universities and corporate training departments. The real world creates loads of brilliant consumer tech that is useful and compulsive. Just because it doesn’t fit the straightjacket of a classroom of lecture hall doesn’t mean it’s of no use in learning. Learners start doing things for themselves. Teaching and learning is also messy and doesn’t fit the neat formulaic nature of technology. What we need is dialogue and synthesis. Jaw, jaw, not war, war……

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