Content delivery and assessment v. discovery and empowerment

Audrey Watters says:

Theres a line in a 2011 Wired Magazine article about Khan Academy where Bill Gates calls constructionism “bullshit.” It’s a line that’s stuck with me because it makes me so damn angry, no doubt, but also because it highlights Gates’ dismissal of established learning theories, his ego, his ignorance.

And it highlights too, I think, the huge gulf between those like Gates who have a vision of computers as simply efficient content delivery and assessment systems and those like Seymour [Papert] who have a vision of computers as powerful and discovery learning machines. The former does things to children; the latter empowers them to do things — to do things in the world, not just within a pre-defined curriculum.


2 Responses to “Content delivery and assessment v. discovery and empowerment”

  1. In many ways technology still is the next frontier in education. It probably will stay as the next frontier rather than become incorporated as long as there are teachers who see it as a tool to continue the process of the traditional model rather than as a means to redevelop the ways in which we engage education. I love how the quote ends about empowerment. Every time technology is seen as a tool to do what is always done, we diminish its potential.

  2. I think that you give many of the “reformers” too much credit by assuming that they even see technology as a tool for education. It’s just a less expensive way to deliver the same bad product (standardized tests, lectures, texts)

Leave a Reply to Bill Bradley