One analysis of the Digital Education Revolution

The presentation slides below are the basis for a talk I’ll be giving this Thursday as part of my study toward a Graduate Diploma in Learning and Teaching. The aim is to analyse the Digital Education Revolution (DER) and identify any shortcomings and strengths (hint: I found it heavy on the former and light on the latter). The talk is being done in Elluminate to other students. Don’t know the connection details, but if you wanted to participate I could chase that up. Let me know.

In summary, my conclusion (which is not likely to be all that novel) is that the DER is pleasing in that it represents a fairly significant engagement (in terms of money) by the Federal Government with the question of teaching, learning, schooling and technology. The trouble is, however, that because of various flaws I think it unlikely that the DER will achieve its goal. At best it will remove some of the first order barriers – mostly student access to computers – for the next few years. Though even that will be somewhat limited – depending on how schools implement 1:1 – and is likely to cease in the near future when the DER funding ceases and other factors (tightening budget constrains, potential change of government, likely limited outcomes from the DER) play out.

The biggest problem with the DER is that it is based on the assumption that the coming “digital world” requires new approaches to teaching and learning and it believes this can be done solely by adding technology for students. It seems to assume that the coming “digital world” can be served well by the current industrial model inherent in schools and being reinforced by other Government policies such as the National Curriculum.

Given the huge number of possible perspectives that could be brought to bare on the DER, the presentation is by no means complete. But it is also a bit more complicated than I would like. The trouble is that other assignments are calling and time has run out.

References

ANAO. (2010). Digital Education Revolution Program – National Secondary Schools Computer Fund. Education (p. 148). Canberra, ACT, Australia.

Boehm, B., & Turner, R. (2003). Using risk to balance agile and plan-driven methods. Computer, 36(6), 57-66.

Brews, P., & Hunt, M. (1999). Learning to plan and planning to learn: Resolving the planning school/learning school debate. Strategic Management, 20(10), 889-913.

Bush, M. (2009). The Transformation of Learning with Technology: Learner-Centricity, Content and Tool Malleability, and Network Effects. Educational Technology, 49(2), 3-20. Retrieved from http://eric.ed.gov/ERICWebPortal/recordDetail?accno=EJ829873&_nfls=false

Collins, A., & Halverson, R. (2009). Rethinking education in the age of technology: The digital revolution and schooling in America. New York: Teachers College Press.

DEEWR. (2010). ICT strategic planning guide for Australian schools (p. 16). Canberra, ACT, Australia. Retrieved from http://www.deewr.gov.au/Schooling/DigitalEducationRevolution/DigitalStrategyforTeachers/Documents/ICTStratPlanGuide.pdf

Ertmer, P. a. (1999). Addressing first- and second-order barriers to change: Strategies for technology integration. Educational Technology Research and Development, 47(4), 47-61. doi:10.1007/BF02299597

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Prestridge, S. (2010). The alignment of digital pedagogy to current teacher beliefs. In D. Gronn & G. Romeo (Eds.), ACEC2010: Digital Diversity. Melbourne, Australia: Australian Council for Computers in Education. Retrieved from http://acec2010.info/proposal/252/beliefs-behind-teacher-influences-their-ict-practices

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One thought on “One analysis of the Digital Education Revolution

  1. What strikes me as odd here is how “revolution” has become such a buzzword. Call someone a revolutionary and it still sounds like a slur. Say you support the learning revolution and people invite you to their coffee mornings. Odd.

    Part of the explanation why so many blue-rinse people are bandying around the word “revolution” (I think) is that it really doesn’t amount to much of a revolution. In fact it doesn’t deserve to be called a revolution. Revolutions were meant to usher in a new historical epoch – one with a new set of social relations. Sir Ken Robinson and his supporters are not talking about any such thing. They just want education to catch up with the post-Fordist economy. The old schools were slaves to the economy. The new digital schools will be slaves to the new digital economy. It wasn’t about the kids (or society) then, and it’s not about the kids now. It’s about business. When it’s people in pin-stripe suits who are calling for the revolution, it’s time to be a little suspicious.

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