Martin Weller wraps up his review of the recent history of ed tech with some review and conclusions. Some of the themes are no surprise at all - education is a slow-moving, conservative and ponderous industry that will resist pretty much any change that comes along. Meanwhile, proponents of ed tech come from other industries, don't know the history, and make the same mistakes over and over. And yet, despite this, innovation happens. "The survey of the last 25 years in ed tech also reveals a rich history of innovation. Web 2.0, bulletin board systems, PLEs, connectivism – these all saw exciting innovation and also questioning what education is for and how best to realise it."
I think Natasha Iskander has a point here. When I think of 'design thinking' I think of designing as a way to think out loud, exploring possibilities and seeing whether some wild idea will work at all. But that's not what it has become over the years. "Although it is often advertised as a method that is as innovative as the solutions it promises to produce, it bears an uncanny resemblance to an earlier model of problem-solving, celebrated in the 1970s and 1980s for the superior solutions it was supposed to produce. Called the 'rational-experimental' approach to problem solving, it was a simplified and popularized version of the scientific method, in much the same way that design thinking is a stylized — some say "dumbed down"— version of the methods designers use."
This is movement in the right direction. Eleven research funders in Europe have announced ‘Plan S’ "to make all scientific works free to read as soon as they are published." Not surprisingly, the publishers have begun to immediately protest. But "'No science should be locked behind paywalls!' says a preamble document that accompanies the pledge, called Plan S, released on 4 September." Hear hear! Coverage from Wonkhe, Science Business, Science Alert, PLoS Blogs, ZME Science, The Scientist.
I agree with these three points articulated by George Couros:
To be clear, I am really in favour of projects like this. Teach Mental Health is a free and open access course on teaching mental health. It's a follow-up to Bringing Mental Health to Schools for grades 7-12. It's a great topic, and the price is right. It started a couple of weeks ago but the resources are still available. It could do without the spamwall registration form, however. Why does the university need so much information to offer free resources? Are they available outside Canada? Can they be resused or shared more widely?
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