I was supposed to create this wonderful audio recording for the fourth and final post for my Education Technology 325 course. That isn’t going to happen for two reasons. The first excuse being that I do not have time. I am not just using finals week as an excuse. The compelling drive to create content worthy of instructing others would drive me to spend hours perfecting each detail. I would want to do it right. For my German phonetics course I spent hours redoing recorded exams rejecting ones that just didn’t make the cut. The second excuse is merely a matter of technological preference. I would much rather play internet typewriter.
What did I learn this semester in Education Technology 325? It is with respect towards the instructor when I give him my honest answer. I learned nothing. In all fairness let me be more accurate. I learned nothing about computers. I came into the class knowing more about Mac OSX and its applications than your average student. What I did learn a great deal about, however, is how technology creates a caste system among students. This social order consists of those who know and those who do not. When teaching the content of a technology course the playing field is leveled between an instructor and some students. It is a rare opportunity for the instructor to use the expert knowledge of a student to instruct the class.
Technology presents a unique challenge compared to other content areas. Core content in math, science, and literature has remained relatively static in the past twenty years. The Pythagorean theorem still states that in any right triangle, the area of the square whose side is the hypotenuse (the side of a right triangle opposite the right angle) is equal to the sum of areas of the squares whose sides are the two legs (i.e. the two sides other than the hypotenuse). I’ll just skip Einstein’s theories and Shakespeare’s literature for the sake of time. Technology in the past twenty years has moved too fast for the development of a unified theory on how to approach the content. By the time the experts come to agreement it is too late. Educators are not only going to have to instruct themselves, but also accept the possibility that someone in their class may have a better answer.
I can say with great certainty that the content of Education Technology is going to change in five years. The hardware, programs, and content of the course will not be identical to this semester. What will remain constant is the caste system among the students and the paltry return from selling the textbook back to the campus bookstore.
If you have not gathered by now this is the fourth and final blog post for Education Technology 325. It has been a good run.