New Learning Technologies: Mirage, Miracle or Muddle?
University Continuing Education Association, 92nd Annual Conference, April 2007, Vancouver, Pre-Conference Workshop on the Future of Learning Technologies 11 April 2007, New Learning Technologies: Mirage, Miracle or Muddle? Sir John Daniel, Commonwealth of Learning // My title today is New Learning Technologies: Mirage, Miracle or Muddle. If you want a sub-title it would be Technology is the Answer: What was the Question? Some technologies are miraculous - if not in the biblical sense then at least in the sense that they can create quantum changes in the scope, scale, efficiency and effectiveness of human endeavours. But we are in a muddle about learning technologies because we do not pause to define what changes we wish to effect. That leads us to head for any technological prospect we see on the horizon without asking if it is a mirage. // Hence my sub-title - what was the question? I shall suggest two important questions arising from the major challenges facing higher education in the USA and the rest of the world. Can learning technologies answer these questions and help us rise to these challenges? Here I shall encourage us to take a broad view of technology and identify the fundamental characteristics of technology. Having set the stage in this way I shall end with a critique of the most fashionable current application of learning technologies, namely eLearning, and suggest how an unsatisfactory situation might be turned around.