Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Enough with the "tool" already!

In the early years of the educational technology explosion the mantra was “it’s only a tool.” I must admit that I myself have used that expression, usually to reassure hesitant teachers that their jobs were not in jeopardy. However, to classify the myriad devices available today as mere “tools” is as absurd as calling the printing press as a mere machine. Sometimes a tool begets a transformation. Recently, I sat with the teachers in a world languages department who were beginning their text selection process. We’d learned of schools that leveraged digital tools to offer students a choice of over 23 languages to study in a semi-independent environment. The department chair looked at me and said “It’s becoming clear that we learn to work with blending this, or we lose our jobs.”


It's not like the printing press is the most recent example either.  Did calligraphy survive?  Sure, as a specialty art form.  Here's a more recent example:

Disruptive technology WikiWorld