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I read an article recently by Educause Review and I wonder if your able to pick up on what I did. Before reading ahead, take a minute and read through their article. It's a good take on the state of affairs in education as it relates to edtech...


Ok class, pencils down. Now; Who can tell me what is wrong with the following argument?

  • We live in a techno-centric worldview where technology is the driver of outcomes
  • Education is historically non-profit driven, while technology is profit driven
  • Therefore, part of the commoditization of education can be attributed to edtech
  • To fix this we recommend kindly helping to inform our edtech overlords sliiiightly better in theory to maaaaaybe help us actually have the thing we want

    We ask stations to pause for a moment of head-esplod-ification

    What, the, actually F is that!? So let me get this straight. Education is important as a social good, it's something that generally speaking still isn't completely driven by a pure profit motive. It's situated somewhere between socialist utopia (Everyone has access maaaan) and capitalist utopia (Everyone competes and knowledge is part of that competition). And you address concerns of "Weeellll it seems like these technology vendors have no real foundation in education / instructional principles" with the equivalent of the "meh" emoji followed by a hands up in the air? I read this article and went off on a total drill down rant on twitter (unfortunately against someone who's an edtech provider and he wasn't the target it just sorta happened that way). They for once, finally, omg finally identify the problem: That edtech producers don't work in Education and have almost no clue wtf they are doing other then making something shiny. There is little to no research behind what they do. AND THEY ARE PURELY PROFIT DRIVEN. So check, check, check and then your conclusion is... but oh well, let's keep on keeping on while acknolwedging this is the case. {deep breathe}


    You will not fix the problem of a techno-centric society driven education further to the brink through edtech (article's point, not mine) BY REPEATING THE SAME DAMN PATTERN WE HAVE BEEN. Stop. Stop with this bullshit narrative that magically those in silicon valley, or worse, the very students you bring in to train, build up the knowledge of and send out the door are some how inherently supporior at the production of educational technology then the institutions that are doing the training! This false narrative is what perpetuates the cycles of us training people, them leaving and immediately forming companies with knowledge of our problem space and then selling us into insane contracts for things that aren't actually hitting the mark.

    Don't believe me?

    Instructure, all the rage with C levels becasue they adopted Twitter Boostrap and React in a world driven by home-made solutions, did just that. A bunch of students said "blackboard sucks" and threw something together rather quickly which is superior to it. Think for a second then... why can't we collectively do the same? NO!

    Why can't we do better then that?

    If you want to stop edtech driving us around collectively and being part of the techno-centric worldview that forces education to be more about money then learning, then you've gotta defeat this narrative. I view our team and those we collaborate with as being among the first to plant that flag in the ground. We are educators, trainers, designers, technologists, students, learners, and administrators all working together with a singular purpose to solve this problem. We are going to deliver solutions that are not profit motive driven, that are more open, more accessible, have research backing, and are ultimately better then anything you will see produced external to education.

    Don't believe it?

    Watch us! This is just a small glimpse of what we have coming to all systems near you..

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Bryan Ollendyke

Lead developer of ELMS:LN
edTech's reckoning




Crazy, abrasive, caring, dreaming the world into existance we need, not the one we have.

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