Landing : Athabascau University

How education works: a technological perspective

Slides from my keynote for Confluence-2018:8th International Conference on Cloud Computing, Data Science & Engineering in Uttar Pradesh today (I was delivering this online from Vancouver, at 2am this morning, so am feeling a bit the worse for wear now!). This pulls together a few threads that have intrigued me over recent years, including the harmful effects on motivation of traditional education systems, the differences between p-learning and e-learning, bricolage as a design paradigm, and the nature of technologies and systems in general. In the talk I went a bit deeper into patterns of soft and hard technology design and use than I have in previous talks, and teased out some of the differences between them. In case it's not clear from the fairly terse slides, this is about how to go about building and choosing technologies that occupy the Goldilocks zone - not too hard, not too soft, just right - and that are more appropriate to the needs of learners and teachers than monolithic LMSs or completely freestyle technologies. The book on which this is based is on its third major rewrite and, unless I can find a hidden treasure trove of time somewhere in the near future, will still not be published any time soon!


  • Jon,

    Thanks for sharing this slides. Do you also have an audio recording, by any chance?

    I was particulary intrigued by the soft vs hard technologies and pedagogy as technology.



    Gerald Ardito January 11, 2018 - 12:30pm

  • Thanks Gerald. Alas, it was 2am in the morning (actually 2:20- things were running late) and I forgot to press the Record button!

    There's a link on slides 21 and 22 to a paper that explains most of that - it's an older paper and my thoughts have evolved a little since then, but it gives the general gist (nb. despite appearances to the contrary on the website, it is not in Italian!).

    Jon Dron January 11, 2018 - 12:53pm

  • Jon,

    I understand. I did a presentation for some folks in Europe once at 3am my time. It was quite challenging to have a productive day thereafter.

    Thanks for the paper. I look forward to reading it.

    On a separate note, I just finished The Systems Bible. Thanks for the recommendation.

    Gerald Ardito January 11, 2018 - 12:56pm

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