People don’t all learn new skills the same way. I create IT training videos for a living and you can take my word for it that there are all kinds of folks out there who really appreciate this kind of learning. But at the same time, I can tell you that others just haven’t got the patience to sit through long videos and prefer to quickly scan how-to articles or well-designed documentation for the information they need. How do I know that? Because, ironically, I’m very definitely a member of that club.
Similarly, when faced with large and complex topics, some look for information sources that are sequentially organized and that follow a simple-to-difficult narrative arc. Others just dive right in, grabbing whatever tools will quickly solve the most pressing roadblocks preventing them from reaching their long term goals.
I’m not convinced that either approach will, by definition, produce better results, but I do know that the wealth of high-quality (and often free) resources made available through the Internet make them both possible.
Take another look at the title of this post. Ed tech – the way people normally use the term – describes technology used in education: flipped classrooms, smart assessment tools, OLPC, classroom-optimized Chromebooks, electric lights. That kind of thing. But tech ed is about learning technology. Even if they do overlap, the two aren’t the same at all.
I guess you could say that this site’s larger goal is to promote the integration of ed tech into tech ed so that, no matter how you learn best, you’ll find just the tools you need to reach your goals quickest. Whether it’s hands-on and deeply practical as my bootstrap methodology would have it, or through “blended books” that provide core information, but also encourage the use of other resources. The common denominator is that every student should become an active and intelligent participant in the educational process and should take responsibility for their own progress.
I hope to have more to say on that topic over the next while. But I also hope you’ll chime in with your own thoughts, too.
Be in touch,