Education vs Technology – what we fear divides us

Together, Bryan Alexander’s writing and Stephen Downes’ commentary speak to the real issues facing Education as we approach the second half of the 2013 Year of the Educators MOOC.

“They don’t mention political heroes who will help them.” Nobody will help them. The college and university system has set itself aside for too many years. A country with a greater commitment to public education would find resilience in the support of the people. In Canada and in Europe people march in the streets to support education funding. We don’t see that in the U.S., and the people taking the system apart are free to move with impunity.

From Stephen Downes’ commentary on Dark discussions with educators by
Bryan Alexander


6 thoughts on “Education vs Technology – what we fear divides us

    1. Hi Bryan, Thanks for stopping by. More importantly thank you for writing Dark discussions with educators I feel that the central fear that divides us, and prevents true collaboration between various groups, is a lack of goal-focused leadership people can rally around and have faith in. It is also hard to collaborate when the goal is too abstract or distant. I think many have no idea about exactly what to collaborate on! Often academia and the tech world have two very different ways of getting to the same place. The academic’s writing pyramid vs. the inverted web-writing pyramid is just one example. Both communicate…but what pleases one audience irritates the other.

      Collaboration is probably most needed between groups that don’t normally mix in a collaborative way and who don’t always have the same communication style or ‘speak’.

      In my dream world, Educators, seasoned Online Learners, and some of the amazing people that have been engineering social connectivity for years from the Tech fields (particularly soft-skill rich user experience experts and project managers), would network in google+ circles style for one amazingly innovative and productive community for change. Someday maybe. In the meantime, we inch along trying to soothe our own fears and the fears of others as we go. Change can’t happen without a bit of chaos and chaos is scary.

      1. I think we need to develop a bridge culture as well. The ‘open’ elements of online learning/networking. The desire for a ‘closed’ environment remains quite strong…even amongst xMooc course participants in courses unrelated to technology. I find this sad because it limits participants and instructors from truly harnessing the powerful and rich capabilities of MOOC experiences.

  1. Yes, although the language is slippery. Very few faculty celebrate the closed nature of LMSes and campus-accessible databases, for example. Some don’t understand that reality, or deem it significant.
    Perhaps scholarly associations are the place to develop this understanding.

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