(This Is Not a Morphology of) The Monsters of Education Technology

Audrey Watters, Hack Education, Oct 30, 2016
Commentary by Stephen Downes

I'm not a fan of holiday-themed articles (they're far too easy and forrmulaic) but I thoroughly enjoyed Audrey Watters's rant on the monsters of educational technology (even if I did make the list). I'm glad it's not a taxonomy nor a morphology, tools far to lightly wielded in our discipline. Structurally, I would have jumped into the list much earlier in the talk, offering my caveats and explanations in the context of the descriptions of our Frankensteins and our Draculas. But I like the way it ends: "Technology, education technology, is our creation. It need not be our monster."

P.S. Audrey Watters's unofficial slogan is "Be less pigeon" - "a companion species gone awry, a border creature that might mark its own and our own trainability" and a warning of a future where "our cyborg fantasies, despite their subversive theoretical promise, turn out to be quite submissive to the technologies of command and control." If I had my own version of the slogan, it would be be more sparrow. It's a huge world, but we can (and must) explore and discover and make our way across vast distances even where danger looms above and below, and it only works if we look out for each other and let none fall to the ground without our taking notice.

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