Wednesday, April 20, 2016

The Pundit's Folly

Jugend 1898 42
I know a great little book by Sinclair Ferguson, 'The Pundit's Folly' - the cover is as good as the contents... It's an adaptation of (from my searching) a cover of a magazine printed in 1898. The basic thing is that a masked clown is seen to dangle a crown above a crowd of people all trying to grasp it. This is reflecting on the way that we keep chasing that illusive 100% uptime whereas it is quite hard to achieve. I'll bet someone has done a curve plotting server uptime. The crowd in this case is the learning technologist (broadly defined, whether academic, 'para-academic', management or nobly propping up systems). Each one believes. But do their beliefs in or about technology (for automation or enhancement) take attention away from the 'irreducible distinctiveness' of all human beings? (a phrase attributable to Jeremy Knox ). For me, this is one of the important aspects of Bennett et al's new article in the BJET. We chase automation and/or enhancement but at what cost?
Bennett, S., Dawson, P., Bearman, M., Molloy, E. and Boud, D. (2016), How technology shapes assessment design: Findings from a study of university teachers. British Journal of Educational Technology. doi: 10.1111/bjet.12439

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