Many speak of technology’s potential to “fix” education. But if it can, the question is–why hasn’t it yet?
The tools for a digital revolution are there, and have been for quite some time. Twenty years ago, the possibility of a TV set in every classroom was supposed to utterly transform education, unite the world, and even replace teachers. (As children of the 90’s will attest, nothing made you happier than walking into the classroom and seeing that beautiful TV cart—Bill Nye and no homework!). And this was all before near-ubiquitous internet, Skype, and online courses put the world at our fingertips.
So why has there been so little, actual change? Last week, in The Chronicle of Higher Education, Kentaro Toyama discussed what calls technology’s Law of Amplification: In his experience, technology’s impact has a built-in limit: how well a system functions already. According to Toyama, “While technology helps education where it’s already doing well, technology does little for mediocre educational systems; and in dysfunctional schools, it can cause outright harm.”
Take the example of open online courses, available free of charge to Continue reading