The Learning Technologist Becomes A Luddite

Lanny Arvan, International Journal for the Scholarship of Teaching, Jan 18, 2013
Commentary by Stephen Downes

Lanny Arvan has never learned to write concisely (I've written to him about this - he says it's his style) so you'll have to wade through mounds of verbiage to get to the essential point. Which is this: "you're a Luddite if you are ok in using the technology but think it largely should be a complement to face-to-face instruction, not a substitute for it." He's responding to a post by Nathan Harden in American interest touting the end of the university as we know it. There's a lot of self-gratification in these kinds of posts celebrating the rise of MOOCs as we know them, as too-eager reformers tout the long-awaited defenestration of the tenured professoriate and the system that supports them. But supporting writers like Harden isn't the same as supporting learning technology, and opposing them doesn't need to mean seeing everything as an adjunct to the traditional institution. They're both Luddites, both the smug sycophant from Yale and the wordy academic who sees no good coming from anywhere outside his own classroom.

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