Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Rhetoric...? Moi?

A reader writes:
I appreciate the points made and understand that the rhetoric helps describe a sense of urgency...

In reality, as in most complex issues, people are spread along a continuum, not stacked at two ends. An old truth in social psychology is that the more I put you in an opposite group, the less I will be able to convince you. Many people, myself included, are skeptical about technology in education/training because so many people (corporate CEOs, so-called learning advocates, and yes, school teachers) mistake the means for the goal. Or make, for example, use Web 2.0 the goal, and not education itself. Yes, use the tools, but not at the expense of both real education and achievement.

So, be careful not to throw the ones who will use the tools cautiously, even skeptically, in the same group with the ones who are just plain pigheaded.

Thank you for your comment. Most of the folks who follow this blog regularly have probably figured out by now that I can be a bit less-than-discreet when arguing a point. So I absolutely depend upon the true eloquence that comes from the comments you all post here.

I think we all tend to jumble up, however, what exactly we mean when we talk about means, ends, and goals.

My feeling about education is that learning 'how to think' is more important than learning 'what to think (or think about)'. Therefore, learning is really about learning how to learn. Within this view, and given the context of the present and future prospects of the Digital Age, I do see integration with the immediate global network offered and maintained by Internet technology to be an absolutely necessary part of learning today. What I'm getting at is that I don't really see anymore the distinctions between the means and the ends. Rather the means offers a plethora of ends -- Twitter is the perfect example... a Post-Structuralist's dream.

And I am hesitant to define the meaning of a 'real education'.

If it wasn't that long ago that the medium became the message, then I'd say that the thrust of digital technology on society and the catch-up job in education actually demonstrates a situation now where the medium and the mediator are in a sympathetic relationship.

The Digital Age is something to be lived in, not just something to be talked about. So, thanks again to all readers for comments and ideas and talk. Makes it not so lonely out on this cliff.

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