Education’s resistance to technology will be overcome

Terry Moe and John Chubb say…

The revolution in information technology is historic in its force and scope: reshaping the fundamentals of how human beings from every corner of the globe communicate, interact, conduct their business, and simply live their lives from day to day. Education has so far resisted this revolution, as we could have predicted. But . . . we believe the resistance will be overcome – not simply because technology generates innovations of great value for student learning (which it does), but . . . because it is destined to have surprising and far-reaching effects on politics and power . . . . Technology will triumph. But the story of its triumph is a political story. [Liberating Learning: Technology, Politics, and the Future of American Education, pp. xi-xii]

8 Responses to “Education’s resistance to technology will be overcome”

  1. I wish their “resistance is futile” meme was fitting in the fight of education vs technology. It may be for some, in some places with the money, leadership and community support, or may be available to those parents who can afford to send their children to the best schools or enroll them in good virtual schools.

    However, if education here means U.S. education system k-12, I’m not sure we can say this. The education institution is much more than just learning. Its a complete social institution, one that does not get the commitment of financial resources it deserves, is very resistant to change, is more child care provider than learning center, and most importantly without full community backing country wide. Trying to change it would be like trying to change the health care system. We have too many people saying what we have is good enough, was good enough for me, costs too much money, etc. etc.

    Sorry for the little rant Scoot. Not sure why I’ve turned into a curmudgeon lately, but primarily tired of seeing those who think technology will miraculously save the day and equally tired of those saying it’s ruining our children.

  2. Sorry for the typo/failed proofread Scott! Must of been a flashback to childhood, my best friend Scott, went by scooter :)

  3. By “Education’s resistance”, I take it you mean the resistance of schools and other educational establishments. “Education” is not the exclusive preserve of those who are paid to teach. It happens everywhere all the time. This does seem to be another example of the narrow perspective of “schoolism” in the modern world.

    And, if what I read is anything to go by, schoolism is now lagging behind how people generally educate themselves in their day to day lives outside the classroom. Which may seem a little strange, but such is the world we live in now. Whether it’s due to a general reluctance in the school system to embrace the learning capabilities of digital technology or because the “digital revolution” absolutely favours the guerilla not the leviathan, I couldn’t say, but one thing that occurs to me is that “professional educators” might do well to realise that, as well as not having exclusive use of the term “education”, they don’t have exclusive use of today’s educational tools. We all have them. And we’re not afraid to use them.

    Which might explain why autonomous education is booming. It’s no longer necessary for anybody to wait to be taught.

    Maybe the resistance won’t be overcome. Maybe today’s students – tomorrow’s parents, voters and consumers – will simply walk away from “Education” and get an education on their own or by negotiation with other interested parties of their choosing in a world that doesn’t exist yet.

  4. Still kind of struggling with the “destiny” concept. It may certainly be a strongly held belief, but having a destiny is well beyond the emergence of technology. Even looking back in time, I would not say that Fire, Highways, or Aviation had a “destiny” to fulfill, but they did fill a need and a void in a certain point in time and continue to do so. Will they in the future? For how long? I don’t know, but they certainly are not “destined” for demise, are they?

  5. Bob – you bring up an excellent concept; the “negotiation” type of education. Distance-learning has certainly changed the way that adult learners receive college degrees and continuing education, so why would it be any different for all ages to do the same some day? It is, in fact, happening at state-sponsored charter school websites, Life Skills Academies for drop-outs, and in schools that are technologically plugged-in. The “world that doesn’t exist yet” is indeed gaining momentum and will be a reality before we know it.

  6. Organizations have it figured out. They have a math program which instruction is delivered by the technology with tutorial assistance provided through smart software as well, but when there is still need for additional assistance, students have the option to video conference with a certified math teacher. This lends strength to the theory that technology will very possibly reduce the number of teachers needed, but will undoubtedly require an increase in skills for those that remain. Teacher preparation programs need to prepare teachers for a number of delivery methods. Even if we don’t see technology reducing the number of teachers, we will certainly see a need for their proficiency in its use and a drastic change in school policies regulating technology. I personally believe that those of us in education need to be constantly looking to the future rather than mimicking our own experiences. This goes for college professors as well. There are far too many educators and educational leaders currently committing what I would consider malpractice. We certainly would not go to a doctor who would pull out a saw and begin amputation for a serious infection in their patient’s foot. Yet we see numerous Doctors with a Ph D in education who lecture on educational topics with little understanding of what a classroom teacher is dealing with in their classroom today. I am fortunate to attend an educational leadership program composed of higher education researchers/theorists and those who have resently left the fielf with successfull careers or are still praciticing in the field. We need to be far more selective on who we allow to serve as mentors for our student teachers and those just entering the profession. Despite what many may think, age does not play as significant a part in a teacher’s use of modern teaching strategies. I have both veteran and novice teachers in our school who are on both ends of the spectrum in terms of technology use and delivery strategies. Old dogs can learn new tricks if that is what is expected of them and young teachers can definitely fall into the lecture/worksheet trap when they are not monitored and held to high standards with plenty of support.

  7. The organization I am referring to in my previous post is Apangea.

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