Finding ‘Personalized Learning’ and Other Edtech Buzzwords on the Gartner Hype Cycle

Michael B. Horn, EdSurge, Jan 04, 2017
Commentary by Stephen Downes

This is an odd list. It's useful to debunk the buzzwords, but this item seems to endorse some questionable ones. Let's go through the list:

  • personalized learning - is nearing Gartner’s peak of inflated expectations - yes, that seems right. But not simply among the "chattering classes" (whatever that means; I think it's a dog whistle saying "hey, I'm a Tory, listen to me")
  • competency-based Learning - is placed on the slope of enlightenment, which definitely feels wrong. No, I wouldn't conflate it with personalized learning (a straw man, if I ever saw one), but with the whole competency infrastructure still in development, I'd say it's still approaching inflated expectations
  • blended learning - moving toward the slope of enlightenment. Sure, but what an odd selection. Personalized and competency-based refer to pedagogy or learning design, while blended refers to choice of technologies.
  • project-pased learning - slope of enlightenment. I did a lot of project-based learning when I was a high school student in the 1970s. So if it's not yet on the slope of enlightenment, it's in trouble.

No, this article doesn't make things clearer at all.

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