Skip to main content

Humans or Robots?

In typical fashion, Will Richardson gave me things to think about, along with a reading assignment. Last week, he shared this gem from George Siemens. In his post, George explains why he is changing his thinking about educational technology. 

"...educational technology is not becoming more human; it is making the human a technology. Instead of improving teaching and learning, today’s technology re-writes teaching and learning to function according to a very narrow spectrum of single, de-contextualized skills." - George Siemens


Without a doubt, my personal learning is constantly supported and enhanced by connected, mobile technology. The Internet, and all that it has to offer, feeds my curiosity, and keeps me informed. Technology helps me be a better learner. Using it makes me smarter. Additionally, technology has connected me to thousands, dare I say millions, of people. These connections provide information, resources, perspective, compassion, criticism, and fellowship. Technology is helping me become a better human.


Context, as George reminds us, is an important consideration. Would my experience and perspective be the same if I was currently in the classroom as either a teacher or student? Is the expectation to learn specific standards within a mandated curriculum creating a much different form of technology than the one so many of us enjoy? Is this technology "dark side" dehumanizing our learning? In the school context, is technology turning learners into robots?


"I think expecting schools to educate children to become consumers is a flawed approach to technology from the very start. (It’s one that surely enriches the ed-tech industry, who by all accounts are the ones most clearly benefiting from widespread adoption of tech in the classroom.) - Audrey Watters

So, while I think robots are cool, I shudder to think about schools full of them. Technology can be a liberating, humanizing tool for socially connected learning, or it can be a stifling weapon that limits creativity and personal expression. Is the purpose of school to grow better humans, or build better robots?

Related Reading




photo credit: robot 1 poster v1 via photopin (license)

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

"Five Reasons Why Schoology Rocks!"

Networking at IETC last week provided me validation in my choice for best learning management system, Schoology . Having used Moodle, Edmodo, Canvas, and Blackboard, I can tell you that these are all terrific products for digital instruction. However, for the past several months, I felt that Schoology was a better choice than these previously mentioned products. Many times, asking the right questions is a precursor to making sound decisions. Here's an article that serves as a guide to asking the right questions when choosing a learning management system: 10 Questions Everyone Should Ask When Choosing an LMS Here are five reasons why Schoology remains my #1 choice for a classroom LMS: Full-featured classroom organization tools, a collaborative learning place for teachers and students, device-independent applications, Schoology API  allows the program to play nicely with others, and the basic level instructional components are, and will always be, FREE. 1.  School

My One Word for 2018 is Wisdom

Wisdom, according to Dictionary.com , is "the quality or state of being wise; knowledge of what is true or right coupled with just judgment as to action; sagacity, discernment, or insight." "Any fool can know. The point is to understand." This quote, often incorrectly attributed to Albert Einstein , provides an illustration of the value of understanding over knowledge. A simple search reveals this quote can be linked to the writing of mathematician, George Finlay Simmons .  Narrowing my thinking to one word is an interesting challenge. I have gained a greater appreciation for words and how the combination of words can convey meaning beyond definitions, beyond knowledge. Where are the resources for knowledge in a modern world? We purchased an Amazon Echo as a gift for my parents. "It's such a smart and funny device," says my mom. Alexa has a seemingly unlimited access to information, music, and jokes, but does she understand? Can

Grammarly Writing Hacks for Better Blogging

Writing is learning. It's taken me about thirty years to realize the metacognitive power of written expression, the same amount of time it took for me to recognize that my writing skills suck. Apparently, time in composition class was spent daydreaming and making silly faces at girls. Today, each post is an exercise of will power, unlearning and relearning prepositional phrases, comma usage, and when to use the ever-popular semicolon. Two hundred posts into my blogging adventure I've picked up a few tricks that add efficiency to my writing, things that make me appear smarter than I really am. Freelance writer, Jennie Cromie , writing for ProBlogger.net , identifies five ways blogging can make you a better writer . Discover your voice Build social connections Acquire valuable feedback Become self-disciplined Write faster and more efficiently Writing with intent to learn is the mindset to lead with. Using the right tools permits scatterbrains like me to focu