• 25yearsedtech

    25 Years of EdTech: 2018 – Critical Ed Tech

    [The last in the 25 Years of Ed Tech series] I’ll do a conclusion and themes post (if I can be arsed) of the 25 Years series, but now we reach the end. For this year, I’ve chosen not a technology, but rather a trend. I see in much of ed tech a divide, particularly at conferences. There is the gung ho, Silicon Valley, technology utopian evangelists. This is a critical reflection free zone, because the whole basis of this industry is on selling perfect solutions (to problems they have concocted). This is where the money is. In contrast to this is a developing strand of criticality around the role…

  • 25yearsedtech

    25 Years of Ed Tech: 2017 – blockchain

    All clear now? (image from https://www.intheblack.com/articles/2018/03/22/blockchain-future-record-keeping) Of all the technologies listed in this series, blockchain is perhaps the most perplexing, both in how it works and in why it is even in this list. In 2016 several people independently approached me about blockchain — the distributed, secure ledger for keeping the records that underpin Bitcoin. The question was always the same: “Could we apply this in education somehow?” The imperative seemed to be that blockchain was a cool technology, and therefore there must be an educational application. It could provide a means of recording achievements and bringing together large and small, formal and informal, outputs and recognition. Viewed in this…

  • 25yearsedtech

    25 Years of Ed Tech: 2016 – The return of AI

    [Continuing the 25 Years of Ed Tech series] I covered this in 1993’s entry, that Artificial intelligence was the focus of attention in education in the 1980s and 1990s with the possible development of intelligent tutoring systems. The initial enthusiasm for these systems waned somewhat, when they failed to deliver on their promise. For example, in their influential 1985 paper, Anderson, Boyle and Reiser detailed intelligent tutoring systems for geometry and the programming language LISP. They confidently predicted that “Cognitive psychology, artificial intelligence, and computer technology have advanced to the point where it is feasible to build computer systems that are as effective as intelligent human tutors”. Yet, by 1997…