Technology is not the solution to enhance learning?
I’ve been exploring the fusion of technology, creativity and learning for two decades. From my early programming years, through machine learning and artificial neural networks for my thesis, to various authoring tools, online platforms and augmented reality. I’ve experimented with the rise and fall of enthusiasm for Virtual Worlds, learning management systems; I’ve contributed to the emerging hope for xAPI and learning records stores; explored MOOCs and flipped classrooms; and I’ve also built an augmented reality-enhanced escape room experience.
Technology comes and goes
The thing is, technology comes and goes. The more expensive they are, the more complex they are, the slower they come and the slower they go. But overall, technology is not the answer. Technology is a magnifying glass. It can help you discover things you couldn’t otherwise; it can help you see answers. But before you use technology, you must be clear what the questions you have. Because technology will give you answers, but they might not be the answers to your questions. It’s like a magnifying glass. It will magnify what you’re looking at, but you might not be looking at the right thing…
If technology is not the solution, then what is?
It’s not the technology itself, it’s the application of technology by people in specific contexts that drives success. It’s the creative, innovative way of using technology and its features to enhance learning. Understanding how technology works allows you to apply it according to your needs, not according to templates and step-by-step instructions. In many cases, I’ve seen technology investment made by not those who are going to use it, but those who have decision making power over the budget. And if one thing I learned in the last two decades is that people who quickly learn technology in order to harness its potential based on the science of learning, are the ones who we should pay attention to. And not to the technology and its cool factor.