Archives for category: Educational Technology


We still need to teach kids how to read and process text and other media critically. There is not yet a tool that can read a text critically for a student, and even if one existed, could we trust it?

This is one of the most important questions that anyone can ask of a given instructional technique. One should expect that any answer given in response uses multiple metrics to measure the effectiveness of the technique. Imagine, for example, a college that removed end of year exams from their courses (with no other changes). One would expect their course pass rates to increase – and so from the perspective of measurement of learning by course pass rates, they’ve improved. Of course, I doubt the students actually learned more…

The problem with adding computer science to schools is that it would become institutionalized, much like modern mathematics education has. Instead of being an opportunity for exploration outside of the normalized structure of schools, it would become a dry, life-less subject taught in rigid formats.

From Seymour Papert in New Theories for New Learnings via The Daily Papert.:

“Imagine (if you can) that we lived in a world without writing-and, of course, without pencils, pens and books. Then one day, somebody invents writing and the pencil, and people say, “Wow, this would be great for education. Let’s give these things to all the children and teach them to write.” So then somebody else says, “Hey, wait a minute. You can’t just do that. You can’t just give every child a pencil. You’d better start by doing some rigorous experiments on a small scale. So, we’ll ‘put one pencil in a classroom and we’ll see what happens. If great things happen, we’ll put two pencils in a classroom, and if greater things happen, then we’ll put in more…” (Papert, S. 1984.)

‘Nuff said.

*See this article on Julian Assange (of Wikileaks) for the original quote. Also note, I know kids are using Facebook at home, and that ignoring it does nothing to protect students’ privacy. This perspective is intended to draw attention to an issue, not necessarily indicate what the best course of action is.

My main critique of the Khan Academy is that it has only changed who is lecturing the students. That’s not a shift in pedagogy.

When I see people who follow no one on Twitter and never interact with any of their followers, I wonder to myself, why are you here? Have you forgotten the “social” in social media?

No joke, in many Canadian schools this is what is required before any new technology can be used with students in a classroom.