Technology as metaphor (or I’m on e-Literate)

I was really pleased to be asked to contribute an article to the edition of On The Horizon that Michael Feldstein is editing. As part of the procedure all the authors are writing a guest blog post on e-Literate. It feels kind of like getting the opening slot on the Parkinson show (US readers – substitute with Leno).

My piece is up now, called SocialLearn: Bridging the Gap Between Higher Education and Web 2 (surprise choice of topic, I know!). As well as talking about SocialLearn I wanted to make the argument that the technology we (individuals and institutions) use is a metaphor, or at least an artefact, for how we engage with the social issues. My argument then is that the conventional LMS is the wrong metaphor, not just the wrong technology, for engaging with some of the changes we are seeing that we might cluster under the web 2.0 banner. I am in the position of being able to quote myself, so I'll let M Weller sum it up:

I would suggest that the reason the centralised LMS is not the answer
to the ‘web 2.0 problem’ for education is because in its software DNA
it embodies the wrong metaphor. It seeks to realise the principles of
hierarchy, control and centralisation – the traditional classroom made
virtual. This approach won’t help educators understand the new
challenges and opportunities they are now facing.

2 Comments

  1. “Higher education faces a challenge. It may not now it yet, but it does.”
    Oh no! Is there no-one ready to see the irony of that spelling mistake (still live in your article, despite learned comments).
    Content-wise, it’s true, I think; though what is the big deal about universities having to adapt? They need to get over themselves.

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