I want to put this article into context, which is why I'm illustrating it with my own image, rather than an image from the article. It is common to say that "technology should not drive change". But why? In a nutshell, it's because drivers in general do not push you (or your organization, or your society) in any particular direction. What you want to focus on are the attractors of change - what you want, what you need, what you value. That's why this and other articles like it argue that "business transformation” should be "people-led transformation aided by technology". But let's be clear (especially in business publications) about what these attractors are. In each of the four items listed (purpose, transparency, agility, diversity and inclusion) the argument is that they increase employee value, earnings and stock prices. Those (and not purpose, transparency, etc) are the attractors in this article. But are those people-led? No, it's the same old toxic mix. The logic should be that we value earnings and profits because they support purpose, transparency, etc., not the other way around.
In her discussion of Melinda Anderson’s Becoming a Teacher, what Jennifer Gonzalez means by 'subversive' is "smart, qualified, ethical teachers breaking rules, finding work-arounds, and flying under the radar to do things in a way that aligns with their expertise and experience, not the way they are told to do them." And... yeah. I see that. Subversion is necessary, says Gonzalez, because "curricula are almost always chosen by people outside the classroom, and are too often guided by 'tradition.'... many teachers know that the prescribed curriculum in their school is not relevant to the students in the room, so it’s often necessary to veer from it... (they) actively work against what she sees as restrictive policies and systems that overlay teaching." This, I think, is the right way to teach, or for that matter, to do any job.
The gist of Paul Kirschner's argument here is that since progressive education is now 60- years old, it is now traditional, and hence the sort of education that came before it (that he advocates) is now progressive. This of course completely distorts the meaning of the word 'progressive', which by its very nature, suggests not only a move forward, but also, a move toward something better. Education based on explanation, practice, repetition and explicit instruction may help children memorize, but it does not help them, learn. More, it's the sort of education favoured by centrist authoritarian regimes, which again, is what makes it the opposite of progressive.
Edupunk, as Jim Groom says, was a moment. It represented an alternative to the locked-down learning management system approach to education characterized by the big LMS companies like Blackboard. I like how Jim Groom uses the occasion of answering some questions about Edupunk to play with video technology and to " explore some of my live video capabilities with the ds106.tv new rig." It includes some nice clips with Brian Lamb from a mockumentary about it from five years ago. We perhaps lost some of the spirit of Edupunk in the early days of the pandemic. It's a shame students couldn't have been greeted with the 'Summer of Oblivion' rather than 4-hour Zoom lectures, but strict adherence to the program was demanded. Maybe people will find a second wind. If nothing else, "Narrate your process, people!"
I'm not going to do a detailed analysis of the Senate Judiciary Committee report (451 page PDF) on competition in digital markets. But I will pause for a moment to challenge a presumption. In this post, Wendy Grossman notes that observers are concerned about the impact on research; the 1984 AT&T breakup effectively killed Bell Labs. But, she asks, "would AT&T, kept whole, been able to use its monopoly power to block the growth of the Internet?" One wonders what the dominance of major technology companies is blocking today. One wonders what learning technologies we could have, were things like RSS, OpenID, and OER allowed to flourish in an open and interoperable internet.
Though ostensibly about engagement, the point of this post is to argue that engagement and learning are not the same thing. It's clearly written and does the service of introducing readers to people like Robert Bjork, who studied memory and training in the 1990s. And that points to be biggest deficiency in the paper: the presumption that learning and remembering are the same thing. At one point Donald Clark writes, "I’ve been totally engaged for years watching stand-up comedy experiences but can barely remember a single joke from any of them." As I asked in the comments, "Do you really think that remembering jokes is what would count as learning from a comedian?" When I look at how Clark writes and how he presents himself, I would say he has learned a lot from comedians (as have I). Sure, learning and engagement are not the same thing. But it's very hard to imagine cases where you are learning but not engaged. Image: Trevor Noah.
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