During the centurial media debate between Clark and Kozma, we were students already experiencing changes in teaching methodology and media evolution. We feel a deep connection to Kozma’s statement that, “Educational technology is a design science (Simon, 1981, Glaser, 1976), not a natural science” (Kozma, 1994, p. 2). Educational Technology is not the same as physics or chemistry, where we can perform experiments and gather data. This current era has seen its share of educational experiments, leaving us with more questions than answers.
We navigated our reflecting thought process between Clark and Kozma perspectives and views from two techno-deterministic contemporary news of two different target groups: autistic children and higher education students.
In the recent Toronto Star article above, the author described the current growing gaps in literacy and numeracy because of a lack of readiness in schools to effectively move to online learning, consequently causing societal losses. She discussed companies like Gepeto that use technologies such as Augmented Reality (AR) to help kids with autism and leverage their research to add other digital tools to their toolkit. Like Gepeto, many teachers were tech-aware, but unprepared for a 100% digital teaching environment. While we agree that, as Mann (2001) said, “Instructional technology only works for some kids, with some topics, and under some conditions – but that is true of all pedagogy. There is nothing that works for every purpose, for every learner, and all the time” (p. 241), we no longer have the choice of all of the historically available instructional methods. Also, the parallel rise of social media as the penultimate cool media, requiring little to no completion (e.g. participation) by learners (McLuhan, 1964), yet delivering much (mis)information by reinforcing existing anxieties while people doomscroll (Watercutter, 2020) has shown that we need to close the completion gap so we can get some learning done. This completion gap is what we believe Kozma (1994) predicted when he warned against not having “forged a relationship between media and learning” (p. 7), so we would not “find ourselves on the sidelines of our own game (Reigeluth, 1989)” (Kozma, 1994, p. 7). “he would agree that our lack of integration of media and learning has been overlooked”? On the other hand, we believe that Clark would likely say that, since the majority of our society has adopted virtual applications for learning (e.g. video-based computer use), this is the new “usual uses argument” (Clark, 1994, paragraph 8, line 1) for our age and we can and have gone beyond the former usual uses of this medium. He would conclude, and we do agree that we now have a huge social experiment that we can use to design the studies that he called for in 1994.
Kozma’s prediction of lack of connection between media and learning and Clark’s collective virtual adoption for learning applications have both relevance in the next techno-deterministic news from LinkedIn that we talk about here. Keep reading!
Clark, R. E. (1983). Reconsidering research on learning from media. Review of Educational Research, 53(4), 445-459.
Clark, R. E. (1994). Media will never influence learning. Educational Technology Research and Development, 42(2), 21-29.
Kozma, R. B. (1994). Will media influence learning: Reframing the debate. Educational Technology Research and Development, 42(2), 7-19.
Mann, D. (2001). Documenting the Effects of Instructional Technology, A Fly-Over of Policy Questions. In W. F. Heineke & L. Blasi (Eds.), Research methods for educational technology ; v. 1: Methods of evaluating educational technology (pp. 239249). Greenwich, Conn.: Information Age Pub.
McLuhan, M. (1964). Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man. McGraw-Hill.
Prensky, M. (2001). Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants. MCB University Press, 9(5). https://www.marcprensky.com/writing/Prensky%20-%20Digital%20Natives,%20Digital%20Immigrants%20-%20Part1.pdf
Reigeluth, C. (1989). Educational technology at the crossroads: New mindsets and new directions. Educational Technology Research and Development, 37(1), 67-80.
Watercutter, A. (n.d.). Doomscrolling Is Slowly Eroding Your Mental Health. Wired. Retrieved September 25, 2021, from https://www.wired.com/story/stop-doomscrolling/