Online Learning: Two Big Distractions

Institute for Performance, Apr 03, 2013
Commentary by Stephen Downes

Unattributed article from Contact North pointing to two big "distractions" that draw our focus from what's really happening in educational technology. The distractions are, first, "transformative talk" that suggests institutions will change dramatically, and second, "technology hype" that inflates what technology can accomplish. In the case of the former, suggest the author, "the real transformation that is now occurring is in relation to the pedagogy within institutions rather than the nature of the institutions themselves." And in the case of the latter, "the new technology tools and resources are built, but their use for decision making is weak and, at the faculty member level, almost non-existent." Maybe so. But as institutions blunt the impact of technology they render themselves less and less relevant. The real impact of educational technology is taking place outside the institution, and we should look to how the public at large is adapting, not at educational institutions and their faculty members.

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