Ed tech metaphor generator

I’ve been toying with the idea of writing a book along the lines of “Metaphors for Ed Tech”. Readers will know I like an extended ed tech metaphor. Sometimes it’s just to be playful, but I also think it can reveal a new perspective on ed tech. As a bit of fun I thought I’d create an ed tech generator, so you can play along. It’s a bit UK and me-centric so feel free to adapt to your own context.

I’m sure there is a better way to do it, but I used the Glitch site and adapted someone else’s app. You can see it here, and code here. I’m up for other suggestions to implement it, maybe more extendable by others or WP based. Laura Gibbs recommended RotateContent, so I will have a look at this too. I may develop it further – it might be fun to add a SPLOT so people can post their solutions? Feel free to use in your Ed Tech class ice-breaker activities 🙂

Some work better than others, but that’s instructive too. Ping me any base domains to use for the metaphors and I’ll add them in (I’ve steered away from overtly political ones, I really don’t want to read Trump or Brexit as metaphor for Blockchain pieces).

Also – Metaphors of Ed Tech book, good idea or not?

[UPDATE: Super lovely Alan Levine, put together a nicer version, which I’ve now installed here: http://metaphor.edtechie.net/ – happy metaphor generating]


  1. Great idea, Martin! I’ve been ‘mining’ metaphors of edtech (two pieces out with some findings,links here: https://visoesperifericas.wordpress.com/2019/09/17/e-prints-gratuitas-de-artigos-recem-publicados/) and will love to see what new metaphors people may come up with. I’m just not sure you’ll be able to escape politics in any particular sense – it’s the nature of the (metaphor) beast to be political… But do keep readers informed!

    1. Hi Giselle! Thanks for your data metaphor paper, I hadn’t seen that, it’s excellent, I’ve just tweeted it out. Re politics – those are probably the most telling metaphors but I was being a but flippant with my generator

  2. This is fun. I’m happy to be served “What does raising a puppy tell us about personalised learning?”

    I was out and about when I saw your tweet asking for ways to do this, glad you gave glitch a try. It would be pretty easy to do as a single web page, using some Javascript to define arrays of the two parts of your sentence (It’s likely what the glitch does, I have not glanced at code).

    This Make a MOOC generator does it the same way using 4 fragments, but it’s with PHP


    There’s a link to an editable Google spreadsheet where people can add new ones (sadly, it’s a manual transfer process to put into the site).

    Happy metaphor mixing…

    1. Hi Alan, you were the first person I thought of, I knew you’d have something. The Mooc generator looks exactly what I was after – I have to confess though I’m not sure I’d know how to run PHP on my reclaim site, so went quick and dirty.

    1. Hi Tannis – thanks! The buzzword generator would be great – we could make it “Generate your own venture capital ed tech funding pitch” eg “[Tech X] will be the [current start up eg Uber] of [developmental sector], give me [random number] million dollars” Sorted!

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