Tuesday 23 February 2016

Technology is the answer

Paganel School Council construct a teacher
It's easy to get lost in a good solution, and loose track of the question: to get all wrapped up in something really cool, to realise it's not actually doing what you want. If technology is the answer, then what's the question?

That's when you need to return to your purpose, or find out what other people think. But sometimes the process of loosing yourself in a 'technology', is exactly what will return you to your question.

Take the image to the right - it's a teacher made from a bag of old junk I can't throw away - you know, the phone adapter collection in the shed, my valuable cardboard box collection. I gave it to the school council to make a teacher from, and this is what they came up with. Whether it is actually a good representation of a teacher is less important - the conversations it developed were what was interesting. From the exercise we discussed what a perfect teacher should be.

By definition technology is the practical application of knowledge (as in the above example, making a teacher). In an education setting, I use a range of different 'technologies', and don't always pick the right one first. The problems it throws up hopefully leads to a more thorough examination of the purpose, and an iterative process, to determine the best 'technology'.

So, for example, is the best way to record a presentation filming it, using lecture capture, blog, twitter, voxpop interview, survey, or some combination of all of these? Who should be doing it, and how much support do they need? What exactly will it be used for after? How much time or effort can you afford? Will it be public, private, for a particular audience or archived for an as yet unknown audience?

Each 'iteration' of the technology will bring new questions to light, and each iteration hopefully nearer a 'better solution'. Technology is the answer, and can even guide you to the right questions.

(in part a response to @frogphilpPart of #29daysofwriting @Staffrm

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