Watching the key = ‘correctly’ (2:01 mins in). But what does it mean/look like? Cf. #mscedc

I came across this show ( via a BBC news item which looked initially promising from its headline, but was a bit of a mish-mash of ideas:

The piece adverted to the Bett Show. At initial glance, the conference looked interesting, and I wished I’d been able to go along. Looking at the introductory video, though, I was underwhelmed.

It seemed to say nothing or everything. It all hangs on that ‘correctly’ 2:01 minutes into the film. Again, thankful to Bayne (2015) from this week’s readings, for a helpful sharpening of my critical eye for such things. Perhaps the show was worth visiting, but it could have done with a sharper opening video.



4 Replies to “Watching the key = ‘correctly’ (2:01 mins in). But what does it mean/look like? Cf. #mscedc”

  1. Without watching the timer on the video, I was also stopped by the point just after two minutes: ‘When used correctly, technology will allow for greater connections’.

    Whilst recognising the commercial interest of the show, the video has a really instrumentalist feel: technology are ‘tools’ we can use to equip learners with skills. Like you then, I think there’s great value in the work of Bayne and other researchers who encourage us to critique the way that the digital is framed in relation to education, for instance problematising this idea of tech as tools for carrying out our educational aims.

    I know that other members of the EDC class did attend Bett either as exhibitors or visitors: it would be fascinating to know whether their experience of the event was affected in any way by reading Bayne’s paper in advance?!

    Anyway, a really interesting and critical reflection on the content – thanks Matthew.

    1. Thanks, James – and, any others, either as visitors or exhibitors, what was it like as an event? I’d not anticipated some might be exhibitors: that, to my mind, widens the aperture quite a bit. Up until now, I’d only thought about people going to ‘consume’ the show, not to ‘produce’ it. The interface there is especially interesting.

  2. I was on a stand demonstrating O365 at BETT…it was a long week.

    The conversations I had with teachers and with other exhibitors about technology, teaching and learning reflected exactly the instrumentalist views which you and James highlight. I read the Bayne paper on the way to the show and this heightened my awareness of the over-riding rhetoric present during the show, that technology is ‘in service’ to learning; it is a ‘tool’ which will ‘improve outcomes’ and ‘engage learners’.

    I didn’t get to listen to any of the talks (I missed Ken Robinson(!)), so I’m not sure if a more nuanced position was offered by the speakers in the BETT arena. I fear it probably wasn’t. Also, based on my visits to numerous schools over the years, I fear that the assumptions and beliefs expressed about technology are echoed, at scale, in the wider education community.

    1. Helen, well done on surviving a week on a stand at any trade show – a truly exhausting prospect. I’d love to probe the instrumentalist impulse some more, given that it is so widespread. I resist putting it down simply to limited reflection; I presume there are some political / cultural wirings running through it, but I can’t feel my way towards them. Any thoughts / literature on this – from Helen, of others?

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