Earlier this summer, I saw a lot of talk about “edtech” in my feeds. Of course, some of this was due to the ISTE conference, held in their usual timeframe at the end of June. Mostly live for the first time in three years.
Back in February, Technology & Learning magazine, an industry title that has been around in paper format for decades, published it’s “Best of the Year” issue for 2021.1 The annual awards are supposed to recognize “educational technology that exceptionally supported teachers and students last year”.
Except look closer and it’s clear these awards have very little to do with learning.
Back when I was still working for the overly-large school district, I routinely attended several edtech conferences every year. That included the one produced by our state organization VSTE1, usually the huge ISTE event, and always EduCon.
But those three were the very small tip of a very large iceberg. If I had an unlimited budget, and didn’t have to do an actual job, I could have traveled to a couple hundred conferences. And far more if you included every K12 education-related meeting held in just the US.
In a recent post, long-time education writer and edtech critic Larry Cuban asks “Whatever Happened to Interactive Whiteboards?”.
Good question, although if you look in most classrooms in this area, they’re still hanging on the wall. They aren’t necessarily being used, but at the price schools paid for those things, devices like IWBs don’t get thrown out until they cease functioning.