Fish Can’t See Water

I found it inspiring to consider the definitions of technology presented in the overview of this module.  The two that resonated most with me were Roblyer (2012) and Muffoletto (1994) because of the common thread they share about technology being less a collection of ‘things’ and more about the integrated practices and behaviours of our culture.  I was reminded of a saying, “fish can’t see water” that comments on human blindness to culture.  I think technology has always been an integral part of our culture.  Some of our technologies are ‘things’: from sticks used by our primate ancestors to take insects from their mounds – to pencils – to networked computing devices.  Other technologies, however, are not ‘things’ in the classical sense.  Language, for example, cannot be defined as a physical object, yet is undeniably a tool we use to enable us in a multitude of ways.  Roblyer and Muffoletto both echo the interwoven nature of technology and human existence in their definitions.

In designing my own TELE, I would want the environment to be suited to my learner’s context – the content would need to be culturally relevant and framed in a way that motivated investigation and inquiry.  The teaching methods would support independent thought, collaboration, and problem solving.

I would want my computer technology doing the jobs that it is best suited to: crunching data, modelling, etc., and the students doing jobs in which they are better than computers: making inferences, extrapolating, problem solving, etc..   The non-computer technology ‘things’ in my TELE would support student manipulation/making in order to cement understanding of their learning.

Finally, I would look for ways to connect computer and non-computer tech.  For example, designing in a 3D modelling space, then using a printer to bring it into real space or writing a program to control a mechanical simulation.

References:

Muffoletto, R. (1994). Technology and restructuring education: Constructing a context. Educational Technology, 34(2), 24-28.

Roblyer, M.D. & Doering, A. (2012). Integrating educational technology into teaching, (5th Ed.). Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Prentice Hall.

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