The iceberg theory of EdTech: One Laptop Per Child from Gaurav Singh (Twitter) (5 mins)
The One Laptop Per Child initiative is a cautionary tale about what happens when well-meaning thought leaders with compelling pitches for ed tech don’t do due diligence and actually ask the people on the ground if their idea will work. OLPC was a project to manufacture and give robust, crank powered laptops to young learners in the Global South to help them eLearn out of poverty. This Twitter thread from @gauravsingh961 forensically works through the details of the failure of this project as a case study against the “tech as silver bullet” mentality.
How Learning Technology Can Help from Education…technically (6 mins)
Rolling out a learning technology is only part of many when it comes to good digital education. The Scottish pivot to on-line learning in higher education due to COVID19 was the focus of a recent government taskforce there, and Chris Kennedy discusses the vital support component of it in this blog post. While there was a sensible decision to lean heavily on JISC resources, he notes the virtual absence of input from expert professional support staff, subsequent proposed cuts in support to achieve efficiencies, and an expectation that educators will add a suite of digital learning capabilities to their quiver in their free time. In terms of understanding how some of the powers-that-be understand 21st century education, this post is eye opening.
How dark patterns trick you online video from Dark Patterns (7 mins)
User Interface/User Experience (UI/UX) has come into its own as a discipline in the last decade or so in helping us to understand how we use the web and how to design better and easier interactions. The shadow side of this – “Dark Patterns” – sees business and designers exploiting these principles to make users do things that they didn’t mean to using design tricks and cognitive science. This video explains some of these common tricks and the site overall offers some valuable tips to deepen our digital literacy.
“The end of Blackboard as a Standalone EdTech Company” from Phil on EdTech
While the title of this article veers toward the dramatic, the recent merger of the Blackboard LMS company and Anthology, a company with products on the student management, enrolment and retention side of things is kind of a big deal. This article walks through the details of this merger with somewhat of a business focus but it also discusses possible implications for particular platforms and institutional users. Given that Blackboard still has approximately a third of Australian LMS market, this is something useful to stay on top of.
Games for Change Asia Pacific Festival Oct 5th – Oct 7th
On a slightly more cheerful note, the expanded Games for Change festival is coming up in early October. This free on-line event offers more than 80 speakers talking about different ways serious games, game-based learning and other associated technologies are being used in tertiary education and beyond to help build a better world. It includes a mix of presentations and interactive workshops.
Colin Simpson has worked in education technology in the tertiary sector since 2003 and is employed by Monash University’s Education Innovation team. For more from Colin, follow him on Twitter @gamerlearner