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Posts Tagged ‘hype

I thought of tweeting a response to this tweet. But I realised that a short form reply might send the wrong tone and not provide enough fuel for thought.

For the record, I wanted to caution against taking that particular adaptation of a Kübler-Ross curve seriously.

First, how valid is applying the original concept for stages of dealing with grief to organisational or systemic change? Just what, if any, transfers from the stages of grief as a result of the personal loss of a loved one to a complex system of seemingly disconnected parts?

Next, the curve is an over simplistic representation of how change works. The graphic illustrates assured directionality (left to right), and clear and fixed phases. Change is not that straightforward or guaranteed.

It is also one thing to describe possible patterns in various forms of change, it is another to prescribe the graphic as a model. I cannot imagine any well-read change leader taking all the graphic seriously.

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This reminds me of another oft-cited visual: The Gartner hype cycle for technology adoption.

Critics of the Gardner cycle point out that it is not actually a cycle (duh!). However, it has better utility than the adapted Kübler-Ross curve — one can slide forward or backwards on the Gartner curve.

For example, a technology like Second Life was in the trough of disillusionment, headed for higher ground, and then firmly slid back.

Both representations of change do not seem to have been rigorously tested. Both are devoid of contexts where other factors might dictate the rate and processes of change.

One example of a non-represented factor is change in leadership, and along with it the changes in policy. The actions that follow can seem quick and drastic.

My takeaway is a reminder to be skeptical within reason. Visuals can captivate, but they can also misrepresent. It is tempting to simplify; it is more important to embrace nuance.

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As you watch this video, you can almost hear the screaming…

  • From the researchers and educators: “That’s technological determinism!” or  “The iPad is just a tool!”
  • From the students or kids: “I want one!” or “Yes!” (like the child did at the 1 min 42sec mark)

The adults have valid points to make, especially if they correctly identify and critique the hype behind the iPad.

But I would rather listen to the kids and enable the hope for learning with the iPad.

This article is a perfect example of the marketing hype over the iPad. It might boost sales of the iPad or serve as good publicity for the  university, but it does a disservice to education.

I like my iPad but I recognize its limitations. The iPads in the article, on the other hand allow students to “conduct research, access Wiki discussion groups and manage real world projects”.

Wow! They must have bought them from Jobs’ magical store complete with fairy dust. I bought mine from a real one and I have to deal with real issues.

What is a wiki discussion group anyway? A group that discusses the merits of wikis as opposed to actually doing some useful, collaborative work on wikis? Very likely because at the moment you can’t edit most modern wikis with the iPad.

The author commits the minor sins of factual errors (like the wiki discussion group) and rambling from one topic to another under the banner of “iPad Classroom”. If I were facilitating an edublogging  or even an academic writing class, this would be perfect fodder.

The major sin is favouring hype over hope. The iPad has potential and possibilities.  Hype builds castles in the air with little or no foundation. Hope cautiously examines the technology, the social context and the pedagogy.

I’d build on hope, not hype.

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