Another dot in the blogosphere?

Perceived or real dissonance

Posted on: January 18, 2014

Prior to meeting my classes each semester, I send online surveys out to participants to get to know them. Depending on the class, I may also ask them to prepare other things like playing mobile games, making sure they have QR code readers, etc.

Every now and then I will get a reply to my welcome email about how the participant is worried that they might not be savvy enough with technology. I call that perceived dissonance.

That person thinks that his or her lack of tech-savvy will hold him or her back. Having facilitated courses over the years, I can confidently say that this perception does not become reality. Participants learn along the way and they get help from their peers and me.

What they should be more concerned about is the dissonance that I create (or that they come to realize) about content, their mindsets or belief systems, strategies, and so on. This is the real (and really useful) dissonance.

This is another way of saying that in good technology integration, the technology is essential and enabling, but it is also transparent. It is there to enable self-directed learning, meaningful collaboration, and deep reflection, but it does not get in the way.

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