[EAS]Technology's Educational Va

pjk pjk at design.eng.yale.edu
Fri Feb 1 01:30:15 EST 2002

Subject:   Technology's Educational Value

(from CIT INFOBITS -- January 2002)


Concerned that "[n]ew 'partnerships' of designers and developers
committed to technology for its own sake now create products for the
'education marketplace,' with little or no experience of, or interest
in, underlying educational goals," Suzanne de Castell, Mary Bryson,
and Jennifer Jenson ("Object Lessons: Towards an Educational Theory of
Technology," FIRST MONDAY, vol. 7, no. 1, January 2002), make a case
for an educational theory of technology, as opposed to a theory of
educational technology. "The difference between these is that whereas
theories of educational technology take for granted, whether as good
or as harmful, the integration of education and technology; an
educational theory of technology, by contrast, would investigate
technology from the standpoint of educational values and purposes, and
with reference to what can be discerned from a study of 'educational
technology' as a socially-situated artifact. . . . In order to learn
from our tools, we have also to take seriously the study of them, in
the multiple and variable contexts of their intended and actual use."

The article is available online at

The authors are members of GenTech, an applied research project whose
mandate is to create conditions within which girls and women have
maximum access to, and confidence in, a wide range of new information
technologies. For more information about GenTech, link to

First Monday [ISSN: 1396-0466] is an online, peer-reviewed journal
whose aim is to publish original articles about the Internet and the
global information infrastructure. It is published in cooperation with
the University Library, University of Illinois at Chicago. For more
information, contact: First Monday, c/o Edward Valauskas, Chief Editor,
PO Box 87636, Chicago IL 60680-0636 USA; email: ejv at uic.edu;
Web: http://firstmonday.dk/

See also:

By Larry Cuban
Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2001; ISBN: 0-674-00602-X

Larry Cuban, Stanford University Professor of Education (Emeritus),
"argues that when teachers are not given a say in how the technology
might reshape schools, computers are merely souped-up typewriters and
classrooms continue to run much as they did a generation ago. In his
studies of early childhood, high school, and university classrooms in
Silicon Valley, Larry Cuban found that students and teachers use the
new technologies far less in the classroom than they do at home, and
that teachers who use computers for instruction do so infrequently and
unimaginatively." The book is available for online browsing at

Copyright 2002, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Center
for Instructional Technology. All rights reserved. May be reproduced
in any medium for non-commercial purposes.

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