The first third of Weller’s book was a fun reading journey. I was born in 1994 and going through some of the major milestones in ed-tech starting at this time was a good look into the past. I hadn’t really considered those early day technical restrictions, untested processes and lack of experience in the context of ed-tech. I agree with the sentiment that it’s easy to get stuck on the “year-zero” (Weller, 2020) mentality and staying focused on the future. It can be very powerful process to learn and incorporate history in all subject areas to avoid mistakes and potentially rediscover lost methods.
The concept of skeuomorphism came to mind when using the past in future technologies. For those unfamiliar, skeuomorphism is designing a tool that uses physical attributes or ques of another object to create familiarity. An example could be a radio app on a smart phone that is setup similarly to a car radio for the interface. With that I’ve added a new lens to my “MALAT eye” to search the past (sometimes further than expected!) for answers or context.
My personal experience with any technology only really started in the early 2000s as a K-12 student. If I were to write a similar book I think I would take the approach taking snapshots in how ed-tech has changed and impacted my educational journey. I grew up in a time frame where technology rapidly developed and was accessible to most people. I remember in Grade 1 we shared a classroom computer with no internet, high school the first smart phones were being released and now I’m taking a fully online courses through the MALAT program. Capturing my experiences could then be kept and compared to the past and into the future which would be amazing!
Peaking at some chapters ahead I’m excited to explore subjects like Learning Analystics, AI, Blockchain and the “ 2018 – Ed Tech’s Dystopian Turn”. An update to this book capturing the year of COVID would be interesting too.
Weller, M. (2020). 25 Years of Ed Tech. Athabasca University Press.