(Confusing) Tweets and posthumanism

 

Source: @lemurph January 25, 2017 at 04:24PM

This is the quote I’m referring to in my tweet:

Technology is only a tool if it can be used properly to inspire a student – Anthony Salcito, vice-president of Worldwide Education at Microsoft

embedded tweet

It’s a weird set of words to put together – it’s ambiguous, and it’s taken me a few goes of reading through it to understand what it means. (I’m still not sure I do.) But if I were a proper critical posthumanist, what would I make of it?

On one hand, the technology is seen as exclusively material: it’s even further removed from being a ‘tool’, because it’s only a ‘tool’ if it meets certain conditions. So, not only does it require a separation of the material/technological and social, its status is dependent upon its being ‘used’ by humans in a certain way. Ergo: instrumentalist technology.

On the other hand, the technology has a ‘proper’ use – there is a way to use it properly, and if we humans are cognisant of this and able to use¬†properly, it will ‘inspire’ our students. Ergo: determinist technology.

I’m also troubled by the use of this word ‘inspire’ – it’s so subjective, it privileges the human, it’s anthropocentric, and it’s difficult to see how it might escape a value judgment about what ‘learning’ is.

So technology-enhanced inspiration? Technology-inspired learning? No, thank you!