edtech

  • 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…

  • edtech,  twitter

    Oh no, it’s another Twitter thought piece

    via GIPHY I didn’t want to write this, you don’t want to read it, but here we are… I used to play a football manager game in the 90s (gaming was all downhill after Championship Manager 98), and once I learned the best players to sign, and how to keep rebooting until I won a game, I could get to the stage where Southend were winning the Champions League. There’s nowhere else to go after this triumph, and so my designs turned dark. As a Spurs fan I took a childish pleasure in taking over Arsenal and doing all I could to ruin them before getting the sack. I would…

  • edtech

    Reviewing the ed tech angst

    via GIPHY Audrey Watters’ understandable withdrawal from the ed tech sphere has prompted some musings, and I like a good navel gaze, so I thought I’d join in. Audrey sums it up rather bleakly: I have to put this decade-long project to rest so that I can move on to something that doesn’t consume me in its awfulness and make me dwell in doom Jim Groom bemoans the selling out by many in the field, stating: There are a lot of edtechs, in the true sense of that word for me, that have willingly resisted the lure of exchanging cachet for cash. Folks who continue to good work, edtechs that I deeply respect…

  • edtech,  metaphor

    Why “Uber for education” metaphors are flawed (and just rubbish)

    I blogged last week about the ‘Netflix for learning” metaphors doing the rounds currently. These are just the latest incarnation in the long running analogy [Insert current tech business] for education/learning. It’s so predictable that I created a random generator for it. What follows is an extract from the upcoming Metaphors of Ed Tech book, which sets out why this type of metaphor is both not very useful, and also potentially harmful in developing effective ed tech. _____________________________________________________________ There is a very strange tendency in technology writing to take any successful business and view it as a universal acid that burns through everything. It seems the most accessible metaphor for…

  • conference,  edtech

    Proctorio sponsor OEB, so it’s a no from me

    via GIPHY Online Educa in Berlin is one of the biggest ed tech conference in Europe. I’ve been a couple of times and was going to attend this year, mainly for the gluhwein. But I see on their website that proctoring company Proctorio is now their platinum sponsor. I genuinely appreciate that running conferences is a difficult balancing act, made even more precarious in post-pandemic times when travel is still uncertain for many. Getting sponsors for a conference is often the difference between it being feasible and not. But equally, one must ask, what would it take for a sponsor to be deemed unsuitable? And for me, Proctorio are some…

  • edtech

    Proctorio – Unis as custodians

    via GIPHY During the recent European Super League furore there was much talk of football club owners being ‘custodians’ of the game (see, for example Everton’s statement). This might be a romantic, quaint notion in a world of aggressive capitalism, but it captures something about being in charge of institutions that have been around for a long time, will likely persist beyond the current owners, and contribute to something larger in society. Universities and all HEIs occupy a similar role in society in many respects (although without the same pay as footballers it should be noted). The Principals and Vice Chancellors of these institutions are similarly in a custodian role…

  • edtech

    Educators are not risk averse and complacent

    via GIPHY I know the article was clickbait, but this THE piece, entitled “Risk-averse academy needs to get on board with new tech” was a classic of a sub-genre that has been around for at least 30 years. It contained all the requisite elements of the “why are educators stuck in the past (unlike me)?” articles. These are: Based entirely on a small set of anecdotes – this one is based on using VR for a small group of students. Issues of scalability, access, privacy, replicability are too uncool to bother with. Uncritically embedded in start-up culture and language – the “cool factor was off the charts”, “Experimenting with truly…

  • calling bullshit,  edtech

    Woolf University – whither the blockchain?

    via GIPHY Some of you may remember a few excited announcements back in 2018 about Woolf University, a startup that was, and I paraphrase, going to blockchain the shit out of higher ed. The founder described it as “Uber for students, AirBnB for Professors”, thereby combining two terrible business models in one unholy mess. David Gerard noted that by 2019 they had quietly dropped the whole blockchain tag, no longer describing themselves as The First Blockchain University. Founder Joshua Broggi had stated at the outset that “We literally could not do what we are doing without a blockchain,” so presumably it still figures in their system. Looking at their site…

  • edtech

    Digital mudlarking

    I spend too long and for too little benefit thinking about ed tech as a field/discipline/subject/hot mess for it to be healthy. I am not as interested in the business of ed tech but rather what it feels like as a practitioner in a university or college. One of the things that often strikes me is that terms we use for other areas don’t quite fit: as we discussed before, discipline isn’t right, and that is how we tend to frame much of higher education. So I end up trawling around for metaphors, like suitcases. Here is another then, that of mudlarking. I was enamoured by the stories my mother…

  • edtech,  metaphor

    The Ed Tech suitcase

    Some of you may remember the hoo-ha we had around Ed Tech as discipline a while ago (re-reading this, the comments are incredibly rich). The general feeling was that a discipline was ill-suited to ed tech for three reasons: a discipline ends up excluding some and prioritising other voices; ed tech is multi-disciplinary by nature; the way it operates is more networked and fluid. However, not being a discipline leaves it with some weakness, namely the kind of historical amnesia we see so often, and a vulnerability to commercial ed tech setting the narrative. So while it seemed that a a discipline wasn’t appropriate I wondered if there were better…

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