E-learning and Digital Culture

This blog is part of a MOOC I am taking on Coursera.

söndag 16 november 2014

Technological determinism and online education - Week 1 #edcmooc

Thinking about technology and its impact on our world is complex and there are many possible perspectives you can have. Reading Daniel Chandler's essay on technological determinism you get an overview of different ways of looking at both technology itself and society. The question driving the discussion is how much technology decides social change. In dystopian visions of our future world, technology has usually run amok and humans are more or less controlled by technology. This idea that technology is a driving force in history and something that has a life of its own has been discussed by Marshall McLuhan and Lynn White. Others have argued that technology has a way of turning into something it originally wasn't designed for, for instance Neil Postman and his "Frankenstein syndrome". The point here is the combination of the concept of technology having life of its own and the idea that humans rarely foresee all consequences of their creations. The most common example is the atomic bomb which was a result of a chain of inventions.

In the editorial Change comes hard the evolution of education is compared to the evolution of PCs. The idea presented is that much like computer companies in the past were resistent to technological advancements, colleges and universities ar now resistent to the idea of online education. It is argued that the future of education will be digital and the assumption is that this technological change is unstoppable. It is therefore foolish of colleges and universities to not jump on the bandwagon and evolve, since they will undoubtedly be forced to do so in a near future anyway. It is my personal opinion that this is probably true. Now that technology makes e-learning possible and readily available for so many people, it's not going to go away. And for critics who argue that the quality of online education isn't as good as traditional education, it is inevitable that after a period of adjustment to new circumstances, online education will only develop further. It is my belief that e-learning is the way of the future.

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