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A critical reflection on sustaining the value claims of technology within education. Lessons from a Dutch hero that never was. Dr. Andrew M. Crichton Director: Health Professions Training and Development. Hans B rinker.

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a critical reflection on sustaining the value claims of technology within education

A critical reflection on sustaining the value claims of technology within education

Lessons from

a Dutch hero that never was

  • Dr. Andrew M. Crichton
  • Director: Health Professions Training and Development
hans b rinker
Hans Brinker

The story goes that a kind boy called Hans, after delivering some cakes to a blind man, noticed a hole in a dyke which was holding back a torrent of flood waters. Hans without thinking twice stuck his finger in the hold, plugging it and stopping what would be a certain disaster. Unable to get help Hans stayed there during the long cold night until the next morning when help arrived.

These events never happened, its was a story crafted by an American writer. Few Dutch even know of this “hero that never was”, yet they decided to erect a statue in honour of the boy who plugged the hole in the dyke with his finger.

what does hans teach us
What does Hans teach us?
  • Does this story show that people:
    • Like the romanticised the notion of doing good for others.
    • Will go to a great effort to support something we understand as good even if the reality is significantly different.
    • Will do anything for American tourists…
the vasa
The Vasa
  • Was a great Swedish war ship built in the early 1600’s
  • It sank on its maiden voyage after sailing less than 1 mile due to profound design flaws involving both people and the understanding of the technology
  • Despite much finger pointing no-one was ever held accountable
  • The cost of failure left Sweden vulnerable economically and politically.
why we must become more critical about our role in applying e learning
Why we must become more critical about our role in applying e-learning
  • The desire to use technology in learning has never been greater, it is now an expected as part of a good educational practice
  • Leaders, both within organisations and education still know little about learning despite advocating for its use
    • Educational learning and organisational learning
  • The generational gap is no long simply about using technology, but how it is used to create social networks, drive communication and create expectations for access
  • We are still looking through straws at e-learning both in terms of platform blending and curriculum span
  • The opportunity costs are high within a resource scarce environment
  • Significant questions can be asked about the moral and ethical justification for projects that fail to create universal horizontal change to systems, such as health education
  • Social accountability within the understanding of social justice
claims that need to be sustained
Claims that need to be sustained
  • Access
    • To the opportunity to learn
    • To knowledge and resources
  • Supporting and improving learning
    • Create adaptive and richer learning environments
    • Improving the outcome of learning
    • Luck favours the prepared, learning by design
  • Communication and social interaction
    • Opening up communication and interaction
  • As would-be improvers we are doing this on a normative basis
    • Social justice and the development of an socially accountable higher education and State
challenges going forward
Challenges going forward
  • Older and more expensive technologies meeting low cost no cost alternatives, letting go of the past
  • Older pro-technology leaders struggling to understanding the current fluid use of technology
  • Blending the ever growing platforms for access
  • Committing to instructional design and understanding its application in new platforms
  • Understanding the joined yet separate nature of educational and organisational learning
parting thoughts
Parting thoughts
  • Over the last 15 years I have seen technology act as a power catalyst in learning
    • I have also seen the poor use of technology and waste of resources in the name of innovation
  • I trust that in the next 15 years, our community of practice we will move from knowing the power of technology in learning to ensuring its effects on the development of our society and its communities as a whole
  • We become socially accountable for our resources and their use not just vertically but also horizontally