Technology in Education: Looking toward 2020

By Raymond S. Nickerson; Philip P. Zodhiates | Go to book overview
Save to active project

CONCLUSION

Ent between the story of the new instructional technology and several older tales has been one theme in this chapter. One is a tale of hope recurrent: Like many earlier innovations, microcomputers have crystallized an exciting vision of schools in which teaching will be challenging, learning will be playful, and creative thinking will be abundant. Another is a story of hopes dashed: Earlier innovations were not used, or, when they were used, instruction did not improve as expected. Still other stories seek to explain these persistently unhappy endings. I have tried to sketch some outlines of a few of these older stories, in hope of relating current efforts to those already forgotten.

A second theme has been the importance of the social organization of instruction to instructional innovation. I sketched an analysis of this organization that distinguished between an instructional core that accommodates most students in a relatively homogeneous, batch-processing instructional format, and an increasingly differentiated set of marginal entitities oriented to various special curricula, teachers, and students. I noted that the differences between core and margins include organizational, historical, and curricular features. And I argued that this organization mediates between innovative policies and programs on the one hand, and the instruction that is worked out between teachers and students on the other.

This organization might therefore be viewed as a net, through which innovations are filtered, or as a medium in which they must subsist. But in either case, my account points to some features of practice that will be salient to the adoption and use of innovations (such as the mental structure of content, formats of instruction, and working definitions of purpose). It also suggests some features of innovations that may affect their adoption and use (such as whether they define a specialized clientele and curriculum, and how flexible they are). And it has some implications for understanding patterns in the adoption and use of innovations. Contrary to many reformers' dreams about the revolutionary effects of very adaptable instructional media and machines, the most flexible innovations have piled up very impressive records of large, lasting, and relatively inflexible use. One reason for this perverse result is that the more flexible the instructional technology, the more easily it can be adapted to the instructional organization of the core. Another reason is that public education lacks strong incentives for innovations that enhance productivity; this gives organizational considerations even more influence than they have in market-oriented firms.

A third theme has concerned the instructional value that many advocates of the new technology press, and the place of those values in the social organization of teaching and learning. I associated these values with what I termed inquiry-oriented instruction. Even before Dewey began writing, academic reformers had sought to replace traditional conceptions of knowledge and instruction with more student-centered, constructivist approaches. Partisans of these reforms more or less naturally turn their attention to schools to imple

-262-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Technology in Education: Looking toward 2020
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 334

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?