Thursday, February 1, 2007

Hey! Teachers! Leave them kids alone!

I saw this in e-Literate: Web Analytics, Gaming Technology, and the LMOS and just cringed. As an educator with a keen interest in learning technologies this kind of vision of the future sends shivers up my spine. Anytime you see words like: work-flow, dashboards, analytics, tracking, and corporate all in one paragraph, I can pretty much guarantee that it has nothing to do with learning. None of these “systems” are for learners. They are for the administrators and other control freaks to manage learners. Well guess what… Can we please focus on what the learner might want for a change? (See the discussion below about privacy for a hint.)

A while back, a blog conversation between Mark Oehlert and Lee Kraus regarding how to knit together lots of embedded, widget/gadget like learning applications into a coherent picture of what and how learners are doing. To begin with, the idea they’re toying with is very similar to the LMOS but focused on a corporate market and workflow learning. What really got me thinking, though, was when they started talking about a dashboard somewhat like Google Analytics to track learner progress. (Those corporate folks sure do love their dashboards.) Something about this really clicked with me, but I couldn’t quite articulate how I would want to see this work in an academic environment.
Of course this is nothing new. We‘ve been fighting this battle for years.
We don‘t need no education
We don‘t need no thought control
No dark sarcasm in the classroom
Teachers leave them kids alone
Hey! Teachers! Leave them kids alone!
All in all it‘s just another brick in the wall.
All in all you‘re just another brick in the wall.

No comments: