technical things have political qualities. At issue is the claim that the machines, structures, and systems of modern material culture can be accurately judged not only for their contributions to efficiency and productivity and their positive and negative environmental side effects, but also for the ways in which they can embody specific forms of power and authority (p. 121, Winner, 1986).The examples Winner uses illustrate how intended consequences, are frequently underpinned by unintended aspects related to control, as well as political and social effects. As an example, consider the uptake and adaptation of the original design of MOOCs (that has its roots in Connectivism) by large universities and businesses. It might indeed be extrapolated that
specific features in the design or arrangement of a ... system [are providing] ... a convenient means of establishing patterns of power and authority in a given setting (p. 134, Winner, 1986).While this in itself remains a controversial suggestion, I do feel that it may offer insights into how and why technologies have (or haven't) been adopted by formal education systems and institutions, and in turn why wide scale adoption has been patchy and fraught with issues.
Reference Winner, L. (1986). Do artifacts have politics. In L. Winter (Ed.), The whale and the reactor: a search for limits in an age of high technology (pp. 19-39). Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Image Neolithic artifacts. CC licenced. Wikipedia. http://commons.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:N%C3%A9olithique_0001.jpg
- Connectivism (nakeshajones2.wordpress.com)