We’ve been practicing a few things in the world of educational technology. We’ve been identifying possible uses of technology in education. We’ve been creating research studies that test these uses in practical settings. We’ve raised money to conduct these studies and we’ve been publishing lots and lots of conclusions about what we think the outcomes of our experiments mean. Sometimes we even develop wonderful technology-enhanced tools like games and content management systems that support and even enhance learning but after the studies are done, and the funding is tapped out, where do these tools go? As this video discusses, lots of these tools get ‘parked’. They end up sitting on our office shelves, stored on our external hard drives or perhaps posted on our personal websites. But that’s as far as our contribution goes. Perhaps because there’s not enough money. Perhaps because there’s not enough time. Perhaps because…no one’s listening.
Where are the effective mechanisms that enable practitioners to store the vital information that we’re collecting about what works, what doesn’t, when what works actually works and when there’s no reason to even try?
Science published a special issue this January focusing specifically on education and technology in an effort to stimulate discussion on the subject. It brings to light the ever-growing importance of the long-term goal and continues to question the contribution that standardized tests make within our education system (the one in the US in this case). Progress in our understanding of how technology can work with us as we strive to become more educated, rather than work against us in a misconstrued attempt at updating today’s classrooms for the future is one of the major points addressed in this issue.
How do we share our great ideas? Pit stops are great, but one day soon, we’re going to run out of parking spots…and then what? Will we stop car production all together?