A few days after the conclusion of #ISTE18, a blog post by Mike Crowley received a lot attention. The blog sent the EdTech world a buzz centered around Google’s big announcement - “lock-mode” for Google Form. Teachers can now set up quiz in Google Form, push it out to students in Google Classroom and locks the students from opening more tabs basically stops the students from searching the internet for answers. Google stated that the feature was developed after receiving feedback from educators, essentially stating “hey you all wanted this!” I am not a teacher that wanted this or will use it. My district has a learning management system (Canvas) that has this feature, I have never once used it in my classroom.
I do think this is a screenshot of our educational society and that is the point that Mr. Crowley is trying to make. Computers grading student work, standardized testing, common assessments, common standards...see the theme here. Common, standard, same, everyone just alike, everyone fitting into a nice, neat, little industrial sized box. If that is how education is viewed by society then that is direction EdTech will take.
The question remains….is EdTech dead? For me...no not yet.
EdTech needs to become adaptive or it will be dead. Years ago, EdTech classes were rows of desktops computers with students learning to type without looking at the keyboard, creating an Excel SpreadSheets and playing Minesweeper when you completed the lesson in the textbook. Today EdTech courses are creating apps, robotics, chatting with students around the world, solving global issues, designing with 3D printers and more. Many of these are not actually in “courses” but built into core classes and already established elective courses. Math classes that code, ELA and Foreign Language courses that connect with students learning other countries, social studies/science courses solving global issues and designing robots, drama and speech classes performing for connected classrooms around the world. On July 27, @MmeBurgess posted the following tweet:
There were some interesting replies, check out @EvstersTech tweet:
What if we removed the term technology and replaced with innovation.
EdTech needs to become adaptive, it needs to survive. Creating ways to keep students “lock in”, to keep students in a box is not being adaptive. The question is not Is EdTech Dead?
The question should be: What if EdTech became adaptive?