Stephen Downes

Knowledge, Learning, Community

This article reports on the results of a consultation (11 page PDF) on a recent concept note (10 page PDF) for the Global Education Monitoring project published by UNESCO. While I know the writers are trying to be fair, it really reads (as the title suggests) as though technosceptics have been asked to find everything that could possibly go wrong with technology in education. It's a frustrating read. For example, what's the point of redefining technology to "the full range of technologies available to us: paper, radio, televisions, mobile devices, laptops, and so on" and then to complain that "billions of dollars of venture capital are flowing to EdTech companies." There never seems to be any complaint by the technosceptics about the billions invested in paper production, as though it were an industry that had no impact or influence on the world at all. The calculus is never about 'it can do this', 'it cannot do that'. It should always be a comparison: does it make sense to clearcut the entire Canadian north (as, in fact, we have done) or would it make more sense to give people computers? Or: what is the evidence that the technology we have been using for the last hundred years has addressed the problems of governance and inequality (let along equity)?

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Stephen Downes Stephen Downes, Casselman, Canada
stephen@downes.ca

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Last Updated: Apr 25, 2022 2:16 p.m.