Grand challenges for educational technology

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Gráinne Conole
7 December 2009

Five grand challenges facing educational technology. D you agree? Are there others?

  • The digital divide between the tech savvy and non-tech savvy is ever increasing. How do we deal with this? How can we bring the majority on board or should we even try?
  • To what extend are we seeing evidence of Jenkin’s twelve digital literacies? How can we help those in education develop these more? How might we facilitate the development of these skills in learners?
  • How can we study these kinds of complex, fast evolving technological systems? What new methodologies might be needed?
  • What theoretical insights should we be drawing on to make sense of the co-evolution of tools and users that we are increasingly seeing?
  • Is there evidence of new pedagogies emerging?

To what extent do you agree with these? Are there others we should include?

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Karen Rhodes
2:08am 28 January 2010


Aerospace engineers have discovered that the technology exceeds the capacities of the human body to keep up with it.  They could design planes that are quicker and more manoeuvrable, but pilots' bodies cannot withstand the g-forces.

I think IT suffers from the same outstripping of human capacity; we just can't take it all in.  Innovation happens too quickly to keep up with it.

However, I am more interested in how long people believe this is going to last.  So here's the question I pose:

How long do you believe the technological world represented by this website will last, in light of decreasing world petroleum, increasing world poverty and global climate change and its resulting imperiling of the electrical grid and telecommunications?

Me?  I think we will begin to see major chinks in 15 to 20 years.

Gráinne Conole
9:02pm 3 February 2010


Interesting analogy and I think there are some definite parallels. I certainly feel more and more there is a growing lag between the potential of technologies and most peoples capacity to take this on board.

Wow your question is a seriously deep and good one! I agree if you take a cold hard look at the logical extrapolation of these world issues the consequences for *every* aspect of our lives will be severe and profound. Turning this round.... ;-) is there anything that clever harnessing of technologies can do to help?

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