“Ed-Tech” stands for educational technology, it is about the education-focused technologies or using general technologies for education purposes. Looking back on 2012, a review on Top 10 Educational Technologies of 2012 (from School Library Journal) is a must-read, and Top 100 Tools for Learning from C4LPT (2012) is the comprehensive list of top Ed-Tech tools from C4LPT. Looking forward to next year, MIT Enterprise Forum gave us the highlight on Converging Trends and Opportunities of K12 EdTech, and The Open University proposed ten innovations that have the potential to provoke major shifts in educational practice: Innovating Pedagogy 2012 from The Open University.
Back to the basics of Ed-Tech, Audrey Watters(Hack Education) had created “The Audrey Test” in 2012 —
… some of the things I think techies (engineers and entrepreneurs) should know about education. A little history, a little theory, a little policy, a little cognitive science. But it isn’t just the technology folks who need to learn about education; educators in turn need to pay close attention to technology — pedagogy, politics, terms of service, funding, business models, and so on.
So she came out a guidebook for both sides, it will help us see the whole picture and details around Ed-Tech better.
Frankly, most ed-tech is utter crap. We’ve had over 50 years of theory and practice, research and development into how computers can reshape education. Yet we’re still just not that good at building or implementing technology in the service of transforming teaching and learning. Old wine, new bottles, new markets, and such.
Part of the problem is that many ed-tech products have been developed and then in turn purchased without input from or support for teachers (let alone students). That’s the argument of Larry Cuban’s book Oversold and Underused, first published in 2001. But lots has changed in the last decade-plus (in technology, if not in education), and with the spread of consumer Web and mobile technologies, more teachers and students are making their own decisions about what ed-tech tools to buy and use.
Yet all sorts of chasms remain between the realms of education and technology, between teachers and technologists. If we’re to bridge that (and recognize that there may well be places where we can’t, where missions and methods are irreconcilable) we should probably start by learning a bit more about one another — a little bit more about the education and the technology components, as well as the business and politics, of ed-tech.
And that’s the effort to which this site is dedicated.
An Ed-Tech Guide for Teachers and Technologists
This is a work-in-progress, and all of you can add onto it to make it become a thorough resource.
- 5 Must-Read Articles for Latest Educational Technology Trends (classroom-aid.com)
- Most ed-tech startups suck (venturebeat.com)
- How Ed-Tech Companies Will Make (and Lose) a Few Fortunes (xconomy.com)