Putting Learning Before Technology

Chris Petter, Robert Clift, of University Faculty Associations of British Columbia, Nov 08, 2006
Commentary by Stephen Downes

In response to this discussion paper promoting Web 2.0 approaches to learning, prepared for the Campus 2020 process in British Columbia, the faculty associations responded with this criticism, attacking the document for its boosterism and noting that "Instead of basing their prescriptions on any critical analysis of what is working or not working in e-learning in British Columbia they describe what constitutes a catalog of technocrati hopes and dreams." The Faculty Associations are correct; the paper does go overboard, especially when it says Web 2.0 training should be "required". But by attacking a specific document they mask the impotence of their own thinking. It is tempting to compare the Faculty Associations' calls for further study to those of the global warming sceptics. When they write, "efficient and effective use of e-learning and its digital resources can only be properly brought about if properly studied, analyzed and reported on before being implemented on a wide scale," it is as though they had not lived through the last ten years. Come on now, let's move foreward.
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