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The idea of history is one of the most important things we should be looking at was posed - the historical perspective can give us a long view for the technologies we currently have. There is a tendency to over-estimate the short-term impacts of ed-tech. The future is incredibly difficult to predict, and we often get it wrong. Both pessimists and the optimist have got the future wrong. There are lots of examples of this. Even when we get the technology 'right' we often get the 'education' wrong.
We pretty much know what the technology is going to be, but how can we do better around how they are used. We need to tell the stories around these that have depth and richness. Nick Zepke (2008) talks about the science of the probably, the art of the possible, and the politics of the preferable. And Nick argues that ed-technologists tend to focus on the third one, but should rather be looking at the first two. "The basic premise is that what happened in the past is no longer a highly reliable guide to the future - Nick however, believes that this should be turned on its head. He is not sure how disruptive or tranformative the technology and approaches in the conference actually are.Is technology just doing old things in different ways...has it been used to re-enforce old practice? There is a big concern that formal education is being made ubiquitous, with its focus on assessments and qualifications. Technology is also exacerbating the provision of education via corporations and big business.George Simens and Stephen Downes' connectivism ideas that captured in the MOOC focus, have now been adopted by big business to make a profit.
Digital divides remain. There are big disparities in terms of social class and backgrounds, and there are big gaps.
Technology is likely to make individual much more responsible for their own education, and whether they succeed or fail. Where does education as a collective 'good' then become placed?
Beware anyone who says they are certain about the future. Deep down, we are not looking at things being really different, but things staying the same. The question to ask is 'what is technology doing that is making things truly different' here?