Friday, July 25, 2008

not engaged, not enrolled; how not to make change happen if you want your actors on board.

From the Hunting of the Snark:

What I tell you three times is true.

I think i just got snarked.
I am apparently scared of innovation.
This is untrue.
What i am afraid of is daleks, deception and snarks.
All for very good reason.
Daleks could be construed as innovative its true, but so are tardis' and these do not scare me.
Innovation is not scarey of itself, IT does not have its own trajectory nor its inherent application of good or evil.
It's a 'depends' type statement.
The different branches of Arithmetic -- Ambition, Distraction, Uglification, and Derision.

Some of my very best learning happened when i was 7, the first chapter book I ever read; Alice in Wonderland.
Questioning resource allocation of 2.8 staffing for an entry paper into 3 degrees involving 1400 students makes me
a) scared of innovation
b) a staff member in a liberal centre of education
c) bad at maths
d) subject to derision
This one is almost as good:
Using fewer staff to teach more students over more days in a week is working smarter.


  1. You just have to read Tara Brabazon's Digital Hemlock - Internet Education and the Poisoning of Teaching so that you will know that other very smart thinking tertiary educators share similar concerns

  2. Thanks Arti, i am struck with 'infinite humor on an impossible voyage with an improbable crew to find an inconceivable creature.' Digital hemlock sounds like salvation.

  3. I searched 4 NZ based universities for this to no avail, then the North Shore library network also to no avail. But Deakin University had several copies and are posting me one. I look forward to a sane analysis beyond evangelical techy hype driven by fiscal imperatives.
    BTW i am not against innovation, technology or the use of communication or computer technologies.
    I'm not against slate or pencils either.
    I do think gay whales should have land rights and would like to help stamp out quicksand....

  4. If that fails I have a copy .... and on another tack altogether have you seen this The One Laptop Per Child Project and the negotiation of technological meaning
    Brendan Luyt

    Sounds like your research field

    In this article I use actor–network theory to make sense of some of the characteristics given to the XO by the OLPC Project; namely its immense scale, the involvement of educational bureaucracies (and the contradictions this entails), the role of children and the open source software community. I also identify several social forces that will likely shape the direction this technology takes. The future of the XO is, as a result of these forces, by no means certain. What will help determine the trajectory it takes is how willing the OLPC team is to further negotiate the meaning of this new technology.

  5. Perhaps the answer lies in setting up something totally audacious ... check out Micael Wesch's latest Portal to Media Literacy ... in suggesting this you may intimidate the institution to such a degree they will do a U turn or if they run with it you are certain to have adventure

  6. Thanks Arti, being totally audacious appeals. I have a inroad through this for thinking more about how inquiry can be taught and learned. Really enjoyed the reference made to Barbara Harrell Carson: that students learn what they care about, from people they care about and who, they know, care about them. It reminded me of Molly Neville on value added schools - Where the teacher knows my name makes a difference.
    Please do keep feeding me on refs, i am glad to be helped out of my despondency.