TIES2012 (X). José Antonio Millán: Digital prostheses in education: opportunity or consumerism?

By Ismael Peña-López
ICTlogy (ISSN 1886-5208). Issue #101, February 2012

 

Notes from the III European Conference on Information Technology in Education and Society: A Critical Insight, in Barcelona, Spain, in January 1-3, 2012. More notes on this event under the tag ties2012.

José Antonio Millán
Digital prostheses in education: opportunity or consumerism?

There are, literally, hundreds of conferences around the world in the field of education, and hundreds of ways to use Web 2.0 tools in the classroom, as a quick search can tell. Almost everything can be used in a classroom. But, why should we?

Thoreau says, in Walden, our inventions are wont to be pretty toys, which distract our attention from serious things. They are but improved means to an unimproved end. So, can we really do now more things we previously could with our new pretty toys? Or are they just distractions?

Teachers tend to suffer from the “shiny penny syndrome”, that is, their attention (and efforts) gets caught by the latest technology or device. It is only natural, but it sometimes falls into technocentrism or technoeuphoria.

Educators should definitely have a critical approach to technologies and just say no to the fast and mindless adoption of the newest technology. That is not being a Luddite, but just do a rational use of technology.

Of course there are pros on the use of ICTs in education:

  • Immediate access to huge amounts of information.
  • Enhancement of creativity.
  • Share and build knowledge collectively.

We have to try not to think on shiny devices and go back to the source instead. Understanding the code, made by people, by real humans, is getting back in touch with what humans intended with the technology they created.

III European Conference on Information Technology in Education and Society: A Critical Insight (2012)

If you need to cite this article in a formal way (i.e. for bibliographical purposes) I dare suggest:

Peña-López, I. (2012) “TIES2012 (X). José Antonio Millán: Digital prostheses in education: opportunity or consumerism?” In ICTlogy, #101, February 2012. Barcelona: ICTlogy.
Retrieved month dd, yyyy from http://ictlogy.net/review/?p=3903

3 Comments to “TIES2012 (X). José Antonio Millán: Digital prostheses in education: opportunity or consumerism?” »

  1. I’m sorry but I’m writing the comment in Spanish ;-)

    Comentó Millán que ya no se enseña programación en las escuelas. Desde el auditorio le apuntaron alguna excepción. Yo lo comenté vía twitter, indicando el uso del progrma scratch, e incluso la celebración de un scratch day (scratch eguna en la CAV)

  2. As always it is the teacher and parents who must make education relevant to students. Technology must become an inclusive tool. Where all are able to have access to hardware and applicationsif needed.On the one hand I bet using technology is not learning – just as using a remote control does not teach you about television. We are the slaves to the technology; not the technologist.

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About Me

    I am Ismael Peña-López.

    I am professor at the School of Law and Political Science of the Open University of Catalonia, and researcher at the Internet Interdisciplinary Institute and the eLearn Center of that university. I am also the director of the Open Innovation project at Fundació Jaume Bofill.