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Posts Tagged ‘technology

I wonder if the use of the pencil to illustrate technology leaders and laggards was ironic or intended.

If technology is anything new that you did not have when you were growing up, then using a pencil makes sense — everyone in the audience used one.

But its use is somewhat ironic. The speaker had to rely on an older form of technology that no longer had laggards. Who objects to pencils?

The point was to encourage better use and integration of current educational technologies. These are things that teachers did not have when they were growing up but what students have in abundance now, i.e., mobile phones and laptops.

The metaphors we use are powerful. They reveal our mindsets which in turn shape our behaviours. You might start with a pencil because everyone can relate to it. But that could reveal a mindset entrenched in the past.

I tried the Beyond Burger and the Impossible Burger almost as soon as they were available here in Singapore.
 

 
I had the Beyond at Mezza9 last year and the Impossible at Omakase this week. The latter cost more, but I got what I paid for — the Impossible looked and tasted better.

I caught a YouTube video video (or did it catch me?) about how Impossible Burger was turning food into technology. Apparently the meat won awards after selling itself at this year’s CES.

 

Video source

But is food like synthesised meat a technology?

Ask a random selection of lay folk to define or give an example of technology. Chances are that they will show you their phones as examples of tools or machines that make what they do in life more efficient or effective.

I recall the emergence of a slow-blogging reference to technology as anything that exists now that you did not have in your childhood. Depending on when you were born, this could be a desktop computer, a laptop, or a mobile phone.

Since we did not have the burger of the sort produced by Beyond or Impossible before, it certainly counts as technology. It was made by tools, machines, and methods to reconstitute “meat” and not just simulate it.

If the Impossible CEO’s plan on providing a global meat substitute by 2035 comes true, then it will also remove lots of problems associated with meat production. The old fossil fuel version of slaughtered meat would give way to the new “green” version of meat. What’s not to love?

I cringed, I screen capped, I posted.

It is easy to judge a newspaper for thinking that dated references are still relevant.

What is not as easy to capture is how some teachers still try to incorporate technology for coolness sake. Their learners cringing is the least of their problems.

The harm is in the technology being used to engage instead of empower; it enhances teaching but does not enable powerful and meaningful learning.

… it is biased.


Video source

According to the video above, we introduce these forms of bias: Interaction, latent, and selection.

Our technologies are not just tools. They are designed with intent, and even the best intentions are tinged with our biases.

I am in the midst of preparing for a Masters course that will debut early next year.

The last three weeks has seen me spending between three to six hours every day reading, writing, revising, and reflecting. I have done this despite technically being on vacation with my family.

The last few years of being an education consultant have taught me how to be constantly working while simultaneously taking a break. That is not an oxymoron. It is simply a sign of the times. So my revisited image quote is timely.

Do not confine your children to your own learning, for they were born in another time.

The revised image is above and it was based on the one below.

Do not confine your children to your own learning, for they were born in another time.

I actually like the original because of what it contains and the way it is composed. Technology is the enabler for this mindset, but it is our children’s interest that is the impetus for such change.

So why change the background image? I could not resist the visual message that combined a space-age suit and crumbling books. It is contrary to tell our children to reach for the stars while burying them with our hangups.


Video source

This video snippet from the BBC painted a positive picture of the possible effects of mobile use by babies or toddlers. It was a better clip than the CNA video last year [1] [2] not because it was tech-positive, but because it was less biased.

The CNA video last year asked the question “Can e-learning make you dumb?” and sought to back up its answers with what its writers had already decided instead of what they could investigate.

The BBC video was not as negative, even when the narrator seemed to sneak in negative associations with mobile device use like “young children sat down using technologies won’t be as good at coordinating their bodies”. It was simply repeating a commonly held concern by lay folk.

The takeaways from the video should not be that the small sample of kids was representative of a larger group nor that kids who used technology were no worse with gross motor skills and better at fine motor skills.

If we learn anything at all from these videos it should not be the opinions on the effects of e-learning or mobile devices. It should be that we need to read, listen, watch, or otherwise process all sources of information with critical filters.

One coarse but vital filter is identifying bias. The CNA video asked questions and rushed to answer them with unbalanced certainty. The BBC video, while seemingly positive, asked questions and left room for even the child expert to express doubt.

One video tried to tell you WHAT to think; the other video could teach you HOW to think.


Video source

Ah, technology. We hardly knew thee.

The video should serve as a reminder to 1) remain nimble, and 2) stand on timeless foundations.

So what other technology deaths lie ahead? The video above mentioned a few that were already announced for 2019.

As for the rest, we might need to look into our collective crystal ball. Perhaps one made of bendable glass.


Video source


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