like uber, for education

A long, roaming article in The New Yorker on Anthony Levandowski's groundbreaking/questionably-ethical work on self driving cars. This is a guy that used to report to Sebastian Thrun, and it makes me wonder how much of this ethos is already pervasive in Silicon Valley Edtechâ„¢… After bypassing restrictions on how to hire staff, purchase supplies (including hundreds of cars), and safely design and operate self-driving vehicles (resulting in serious injuries and property damage), this whopper gets laid: [Read More]

why we need a video management platform

I've been involved with edtech at my institution for… awhile. We've worked on many projects over the years, and one of the common problems has been related to authoring, publishing, and managing videos. It's been left as an exercise to be solved by every individual, which has resulted in people publishing content in various platforms all over the internet. Which is fine, until you realize that in doing so, they're hosting university-related content for courses along with their dog videos and vacation videos and whatever else, in individual YouTube/Facebook/Vimeo accounts. [Read More]

The Rise of Educational Technology as a Sociocultural and Ideological Phenomenon | EDUCAUSE

The push for educational technology exists within a broader political, economic, ideological, and technological context. The all-too-common ignorance of this context and the subtleties of learning itself may prove problematic for edtech — and higher education's future. Source: The Rise of Educational Technology as a Sociocultural and Ideological Phenomenon | George Veletsianos and Rolin Moe The article is a really good one, and points to the broad issues with the disruption-of-education-by-silicon-valley narrative (one which has been championed by Audrey Watters for years, and which also overlaps with the work that Stephen Downes has been doing forever). [Read More]

The Curse of the Monsters of Education Technology

Audrey Watters' third annual edtech book publishing spree brings us The Curse of the Monsters of Education Technology - a compilation of her keynote addresses from 2016. As with the previous two, it will be a must-read. Given how dark and dismal 2016 was, even/especially in edtech… Once again, I spent much of 2016 on the road, traveling and speaking extensively about education technology's histories, ideologies, and mythologies. The Curse of the Monsters of Education Technology is a collection of about a dozen of those talks on topics ranging from pigeons to predicting the future. [Read More]

Bryan Alexander - A Devil's Dictionary of Educational Technology

This entire dictionary is awesomeness and gold. Blended learning, n. The practice of combining digital and analog teaching. Also referred to as "teaching", "learning", and "the real world". Flipped classroom, n. "The practice of replacing lectures that instructors give to summarize a course's readings with videos of lectures that summarize a course's readings." LMS, n. 1) A document management system, whereby a faculty member can transfer a single document to his or her students. [Read More]

the most important edtech advancements

Jim wrote about his thoughts on the most important advancements in educational technology. I think he's onto something - the exact tech isn't important. Nor are the logos on the shiny things we build and/or buy. My personal stance is that we've seen 2 major changes on our campus - neither of which are directly related to specific technologies. Human-scale technologies Distributed, coordinated, domain-specific community support The first shift is nothing new - it's also not constant or consistent. [Read More]

Reclaiming Educational Technology: the business and politics of edtech

During the Reclaim Hackathon at UMW last week, several of us were talking over food and beverages and realized that we had the opportunity to document the current thinking in the “edtech scene”. It's something that we hadn't tried to do explicitly before, but we realized that if we don't do it ourselves we'll be left with the narratives pushed by the Big Business of Edtech Venture Capitalâ„¢. So, David Kernohan and I took it on as a project. [Read More]

Audrey Watters on the nature of educational technology

Audrey Watters, presenting to Pepperdine University: Ed-tech works like this: you sign up for a service and you're flagged as either "teacher" or "student" or "admin." Depending on that role, you have different "privileges" — that's an important word, because it doesn't simply imply what you can and cannot do with the software. It's a nod to political power, social power as well. Many pieces of software, despite their invocation of " [Read More]

Edtech and campus expansion

From our latest Comprehensive Institutional Plan: There are two initiatives that have the potential to address our access issue and increase enrolment with strategic allocation of new resources. The first is the development of a learning technologies strategy that will include a focus on enabling and enhancing learning experiences through the integration of learning technologies, with the potential to create alternative instructional approaches that allow for a larger on- line presence and admissions (strategy will be developed by June 2014). [Read More]

why I care about edtech

I've been in the edtech game for a long time. I started as a programmer in 1994, then moved into instructional design, and now am working with an amazing group of folks to integrate learning technologies into the practices of instructors and students. But. Why? I just came from a workshop that made it clear that many in the edtech field see innovation as something like "working out creative licensing deals with vendors and/or publishers. [Read More]