25 July 2011

"Frustrating day navigating #edtech maze prepping for fall #highered #edu #SDSU"

A colleague tweeted this today. I overheard a brief part of a conversation he had with instructional technology folks. I don't know what he encountered before or after with the edtech he's working with or with support resources.  

In a sense, it doesn't matter. His grumbles aren't a critique of someone not doing their job but of the larger trends jeopardizing the quality of public education. 

He teaches 2,000 students at a time. His course functions like a well-practiced baseball team, only thing is, the stadium gets in the way of the game. So he's out there, fixing it up. But what about the team and the game? 

When a system doesn't provide the necessary stuff to make itself work, it externalizes costs to the next available system. Blackboard's design flaws produce costs for their customers in terms of support to end users, and in terms of time lost to their end-end users, students. 

We don't need to study the obvious to make legitimate claims like the more time you spend trying to use technology, the less time you spend on what you're using it for.