edtech

  • edtech,  Film

    Ed tech indie horror

    I’ve been reading some interesting takes on horror recently: the meta-fiction of Native American author Stephen Graham-Jones; the influential feminist analysis of horror exploitation movies Men, Women and Chainsaws by Carol Clover; a personal account of the importance of horror in Kris Rose’s Final Girl: How Horror Movies Made Me a Better Feminist; and The Black Guy Dies First, Robin Means Coleman’s analysis of black representation in horror. And it got me thinking about analogies to ed tech. I know, as usual. First of all, the horror take… It has to be acknowledged up front that horror is often problematic – slasher films centre on the male gaze; women tend…

  • edtech,  higher ed

    The Post Office lessons for ed tech

    I expect we’ll see a lot of these types of posts so I apologise in advance for bandwagon jumping. For those outside the UK, there has been a recent TV drama, Mr Bates vs The Post Office, which has dramatised the Post Office scandal, where hundreds of sub postmasters were falsely accused (and convicted) of fraud because of a faulty accounting system that was rolled out in the 00s. The TV series has caused fresh outcry, actions and recriminations, and is probably one of the most important drams made in the last decade or so. Like many people I had vaguely followed the story, but not until the TV series…

  • edtech

    What is the purpose of educational technology?

    I don’t mean that title as a rhetorical, smartass, question, but rather a more fundamental one. It’s probably not one we ask ourselves very often, we tend to be caught up in the application of a particular technology, or trying to solve a specific problem. But at the more abstract level, what do you think educational technology is for? When we adopt it, what is the purpose we are intending it to fulfil? I expect the answer will vary depending on technology or context, and not be limited to one function overall. But of you had to answer the question “what is the main purpose of educational technology?” at a…

  • Books,  edtech,  GO-GN,  monthly roundup,  Music,  OUEdTech

    July round-up

    My “doing it for the newsletter” monthly round-up of activity and random bits for July. It’s been a bit of a disjointed month, because after returning from the Eden conference in Dublin at the end of June, both Maren and I came down with covid (no-one else from the conference seems to have been inflicted so probably an airport/plane thing). It was as rough as the first time around, a reminder that it’s still there and still carries a punch. I made sure to take time off work this time around though – last time I soldiered on attending Teams meetings and I think that meant it lingered around longer…

  • AI,  edtech,  higher ed

    Generative AI & the taste of sweet surrender

    I’ve attended a lot of AI talks recently (I mean, even if I tried to avoid them I would still have racked up a few). And here’s my hot take for education – just go for it. I don’t say this as an AI enthusiast, I find it quite boring and kind of soul sucking, but shouting loudly and hoping it will go away isn’t a viable strategy. As I argued in my last post, it has a strong inevitability factor, and lack of engagement risks doing ourselves and our students a disservice. That’s not to say we shouldn’t fight to make it open, to avoid bias in datasets, and…

  • AI,  edtech

    The inevitability, or otherwise, of ed tech

    In Metaphors, I have a chapter about VAR (Video Assisted Refereeing) and Learning Analytics. In it I make the case that VAR got to the point where its implementation in football seemed inevitable. Everyone (fans, pundits, players, not sure about referees) wanted it – mistakes were made by refs, and then analysed in detail in the studio by pundits with access to multiple high definition camera angles. It seemed ludicrous that the ref, who was actually making the decisions, shouldn’t have the same access. I go into some of the problems with the actual implementation in the chapter, but I want to revisit that idea of ‘inevitability’ in this post.…

  • edtech

    Smart motorways and lessons for tech adoption

    In the UK at least, the implementation of smart motorways has been a curious story to follow, and I think in its roll-out and reaction there is much that can be learnt for technology adoption across higher ed. First up, what are “smart” motorways anyway? They are “a section of a motorway that uses traffic management methods to increase capacity and reduce congestion in particularly busy areas.” There are three types of them: A lot of money (and traffic queuing due to disruption) has been spent on implementing smart motorways, but the rollout of the last category of ALR smart motorways was paused following safety concerns. The Daily Mail and…

  • AI,  comics,  edtech

    The Cursed Earth post – the AI version

    In my last post I messed around with the idea of Judge Dredd’s Cursed Earth story as a metaphor for aspects of educational technology. I thought I’d try this idea as a ChatGPT prompt. It strikes me as a good example of the type of thing generative text isn’t very good at, because it’s quirky and relies on some depth of understanding. At OER23 Dave Cormier called this kind of AI “the autotune of knowledge“, and this seemed like a good example to test that notion. What it generated is below. Thanks, I hate it. I mean, it’s very impressive from such an idiosyncratic prompt, but it’s so bland it…

  • e-learning,  edtech,  OU,  OUEdTech

    Give me an M! Give me an A!

    via GIPHY One of the things I have enjoyed working on the most during my 375 year career at the OU, is the Masters in Online and Distance Education (MAODE). I’ve blogged previously about how I was saddened when this was closed down at the OU. Since then we have continued to produce curriculum in IET, most notably very successful microcredentials, under the leadership of my colleague Leigh Anne Perryman. We have also been working on developing a new Masters in Online Teaching (MAOT). This will comprise of the existing course H880 Technology Enhanced Futures, then 60 points chosen from the array of microcredentials (or a module from the appropriate…

  • e-learning,  edtech,  Facebook

    Oh no, it’s another metaverse hot take

    via GIPHY Following on from my late to the party Twitter hot take, here is my even later to the party one on the metaverse (next week – learning objects). I think for many of us who have been in and around educational technology for a while, the idea of a shared 3D virtual world brings back memories of SecondLife and even earlier excitement about MUDs (Multi-User Dungeons) and MOOs (MUD, object-oriented). And while it easy to dismiss another attempt at the virtual world as universal education platform, it’s probably worth revisiting why SecondLife failed and evaluating if those reasons hold true for the Metaverse. Firstly, we are seeing very similar over-hyping of…

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