“No ‘best technologies’ for learning”

When it comes to educational technology, academics often talk about affordances. An affordance is “a quality of an object, or an environment, which allows an individual to perform an action.” Mobile devices have many affordances lending themselves to new forms of learning. Unfortunately, many people tend to consider these affordances in a vacuum, as if their effective use wasn’t context-dependent. So we get slogans along the lines of ‘iPads improve learning’ — as though they were some kind of glistening panacea for learning.

… But there are no ‘best technologies’ for learning.

This excerpt is from a post on DNL (Digital Media & Learning) Central about 1:1 iPad initiatives. This central message is an important one. Be sure to read the entire post (link above).

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Douglas Rushkoff – Program or Be Programmed

The debate over whether the Net is good or bad for us fills the airwaves and the blogosphere. But for all the heat of claim and counter-claim, the argument is essentially beside the point: it’s here; it’s everywhere. The real question is, do we direct technology, or do we let ourselves be directed by it and those who have mastered it?

This is from the website for Rushkoff’s book: Program or be programmed. Looks like a book I should read – great quote too!

The Internet: More than a place to look stuff up

it is clear the majority of the world still thinks of the internet as a giant encyclopedia filled with information that may or may not be reliable.  The idea that the development of a reliable global network of learners that provide ideas, information, inspiration and encouragement is still foreign to the majority of teachers and parents.

In this post, “For Most, It’s Still a Giant Encyclopedia”, Dean talks about the need to keep explaining that the Internet is much more than a source of information. I use this slide (a variant of it from my friend @dkuropatwa, below) in most of my presentations too. Do you use the Internet to connect, build relationships & share – or to just look things up?

Look Stuff Up (remix)