Digital Futures – The Threat of Technology

And so here I am, nearly at the end of a Charles Sturt University, Master of Education – specialising in Knowledge Networks and Digital Innovation.  To finish this learning journey, we (myself and study peers) have been asked to navigate a unit on Digital Futures, designed to open debate and scholarship.

Is technology a threat to education?  This provocation has been offered to us within an educational context where learning scholars acknowledge that technology is an integral element of contemporary education. And yet, while much of the education sector is now dripping in technology, there is little evidence to show that learning outcomes, as we currently measure them, have been improved by this technology.

What do you think the digital future of education entails?

Keep in mind that the rhetoric that surrounds educational technology does not match the messy reality – where many argue, little transformation of teaching and learning has taken place.

You might enjoy the following simple prompt:

I look forward to you joining in on this debate by posting here.

Simon

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24 Comments
  1. Here are some of my initial thoughts associated with technology:

    What is technology? When comments are made that technology is failing us (https://readwriterespond.com/2015/10/technology-data-and-the-untold-stories-of-learning/) or even harming us (https://readwriterespond.com/2017/06/cal-newport-on-social-media/), I think that we need to consider what we actually mean by ‘technology’ in these contexts.

    Is anything really new? Bryan Alexander highlights (https://bryanalexander.org/2017/07/14/which-old-digital-technologies-will-become-new-again/) that many of our ‘futures’ are simply revisions of the past, a topic that Audrey Watters’ touches on again and again in her writing (hackeducation.com).

    Do we shape our tools or do our tools shape us? It can be easy to define technology as being somehow static, when it is a part of dymanic assemblage, changing and forever influencing (https://readwriterespond.com/2016/11/breaking-edtech-machine/). The challenge is balancing influence with impact.

    How do we balance between cognition and critical concerns? Thinking about Doug Belshaw’s eight elements of digital literacies (https://readwriterespond.com/2015/03/the-essential-elements-of-digital-literacies-ter-podcast-review/), so often the focus is on the cognative and how technology works, rather than what this might mean from a critical point of view. For example, WhatApp may allow users to easily connect and communicate, but in process involves handing over your personal contacts to Facebook.

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  2. When farmers learned to farm from their family and masons, woodworkers, plumbers etc. apprenticed with a “master”, education was “easy”.

    As soon as the goal became a “general” education, the world shifted.

    It will not easily shift back. Unfortunately, too, the amount of available information far outstrips the capacity of any human brain.

    To ignore the new information is impractical, just as it is impractical to think that a smartphone is out of place in education. A smartphone is today’s newspaper, textbook, computer, and more.

    To ignore the probable impact of the new tools smacks of the foolishness mentioned in the video, “the ability to write somethin down will mean it doesn’t have to stick in the brain.”

    Infortunately, those paying the bills for education seem mainly to want “the answer” (which has not existed since the advent of general education).

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  16. Top jurisdictions for setting up an IT and software development company
    As more and more jurisdictions open to foreign trade, companies can gain access to large pool of resources abroad. They can establish relationships with foreign partners and move their production to foreign locations or simply export their products to new markets. IT and software development businesses also seek to benefit from moving the production to foreign jurisdictions.

    Generally, the main benefit for moving the software development abroad is lower costs in comparison to the home-country. For example, the cost of developing exactly the same software is 50% less in India if compared to the US. The savings generally come from lower labour costs, but moving the IT and software production abroad can also broaden company’s access to a wider pool of labour with higher skills and expertise. This might explain why 50% of American Fortune 500 businesses are using offshore IT and software development. Let us look at some of the jurisdictions where opening a software development business might be more beneficial in comparison to others and discuss the reasons why.

    India
    India has long been one of the preferred outsourcing software development destinations for leading multinational companies around the world. This means that one of the biggest benefits of choosing India for your IT and software development business would be a multinational demand for outsourced software development services. Meanwhile, the company would enjoy relatively lower labour costs, wide pool of skilled labour and business-friendly environment with the government that promotes start-ups and small businesses. Additionally, due to favourable policy and economic initiatives by the Indian government, IT industry is expected to grow in early to mid-teens for the next few years.

    United Kingdom
    London was recently described as the city that offers the most opportunities to businesses and ranked first for technology readiness. While low labour costs will not be one of the benefits of setting up a software development company in London, there are several other benefits that might compensate for relatively higher wages. Numerous hubs and incubators offer an environment for new start-ups and small businesses with all the necessary functions and support for less than 300 GBP per month. Also the government is committed to support software development and technology sector with such organizations as Tech City UK and Innovate UK with an aim to accelerate the growth of IT businesses. Meanwhile, various tax benefits are available to IT and software development companies in London. Other benefits to consider are skilled workforce and high-speed internet access.

    Poland
    Eastern Europe is becoming increasingly attractive for IT and software development companies with Poland ranking as the number one Eastern European country. While Poland cannot offer as low labour costs as those in India, it can offer other benefits such as proximity to Western Europe and ability to find common working hours with the rest of the world. Poland also shares a cultural affinity with the Western world as well as other Eastern countries. It is also believed to provide better product quality and business environment in comparison to lower-cost destinations for software development businesses.

    More jurisdictions to consider for registering an IT business can be found on each continent – each with their own benefits and peculiarities:

    Americas: Brazil, Argentina and Chile;
    Asia/Pacific: China;
    Europe: Romania, Belarus and Ukraine.
    Above countries have large enough populations to have wide labour pool and good education systems to produce skilled software developers. Business risks in these countries are manageable and costs are reasonable in comparison to US, Canada and Western Europe.

    http://www.confiduss.com/en/info/blog/article/top-it-company-jurisdictions/

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