Learning from 100 years of failure

Posted by Gina Rosenthal in social learning | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

According to one of my text books for this semester (Multi-Media Learning by Richard E. Mayer), technology-centered technology has a 100-year tradition of failure. Technology-centered learning approaches designing learning by looking at the features the technology can provide, and then deciding how the technology features can be used to deliver instruction.

This sort of design doesn’t care how people actually learn. That’s why radio, television, and even computers have never impacted education in the way in which analysts have predicted. After a brief sensation about the new tools, the technology fizzles and is never overwhelmingly adopted.

So will the same thing happen to all of the new social media tools?

Jay Cross interviewed Ellen Wagner about this – how do we get past the hype of the tools to the practical application of these tools for enterprise learning? How do we ensure we don’t waste the opportunity the social tools offer because we don’t think about the that 100 year history of failure?

3 Responses to Learning from 100 years of failure

  1. Janet Clarey says:

    I don’t think social learning technologies are really conducive to the delivery of instruction. That’s really a big part of the problem (IMHO).

  2. gminks says:

    Why don’t you think social learning tech can deliver instruction?

  3. Ken Allan says:

    Kia ora e Gina

    I have to admit that I agree with you. Having seen various technologies being used both in the classroom and online for decades now, the usual approach to an introduction of a technology that can be used for teaching is exactly how you describe it here.

    Just as an example, in the 70s and 80s I watched teachers in the classroom proceed to deliver whole courses using overhead projector as a result of this doctrine.

    At the beginning of last decade I listened to suggestions that learning could and should be delivered entirely on an online platform such as Blackboard.

    It seems that there is little thought given to the pedagogy and the involvement of the learner in this when these approaches are used.

    No wonder there is so much evidence for failure of technology centred learning.

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