I’ve just skimmed through a recent paper by Convery (2009) titled “The pedagogy of the impressed: how teachers become victims of technology vision”. This paper resonates quite strongly with a growing sense of concern I have about simplistic, ill-informed practices around e-learning. In particular, there are (for me at least) direct connections with some of my recent posts about how a new LMS will improve L&T, the paradigms of e-learning, the fad cycle in higher education and its application to technology-mediated learning, the technologists alliance (more on this soon) and the idea of technological gravity and technology I, II and III.
The final paragraph of Convery (2009) includes the following
Perhaps the most important single step we could take in researching technology so that it enables rather than oppresses teachers’ practices and professional identities is to avoid engaging with – and thus endorsing – the simplistic rhetoric of makeover politics, and such discourse is frequently apparent in explanations about how ICT can ‘transform’ education. Casual use of the term ‘transformation’ ensures any discussion becomes irrationally polarised, as it incites a totalising vision of an ICT-enriched world, offering technology as the simple and immediate remedy for current inadequate practice. It is the duty of researchers to be sceptical, and informed scepticism is the basis for recognising how technology can make a significant contribution to a learning experience Thus, one must resist subscribing to the easy refrain that ICT can ‘transform’ education as this simply creates a dualistic framework, in which writers simplistically link manifest problems with hypothesised solutions, and invite readers to see ICT as providing ‘the answer’. There are many practical methodological steps to be taken in ensuring the quality of educational ICT research, and rejecting seductive but disabling rhetoric is fundamental to ensuring improved research findings are considered in their human context and educational complexity.
I am seeing an increasing rise of a “technologists alliance” that is adopting Technology I or II views and claiming that X will radically improve learning and teaching. It’s almost becoming a paradigm in places, it is excluding alternate perspectives.
Convery, A. (2009). “The pedagogy of the impressed: how teachers become victims of technology vision.” Teachers and Teaching 15(1): 25-41.