As a web developer and ed tech specialist, I love the power that technology can bring to redefining learning. But I think we can sometimes lose track of the “why” and focus too much on the tools. It seems like too often when we talk about learning today the conversation tends to start and end with technology and digital tools. Technology is seen to instantly elevate a learning experience, and the absence of technology is seen as a fatal flaw.
I think we as learning designers need to remember and to remind that rich and meaningful learning experiences can be created in the absence of technology. And a technology-enriched learning experience designed badly could be utter rubbish. The success of a learning experience should never be contingent on the tools. It should be a result of the learning culture or the pedagogical mindset.
I used to be a collector of cool tech tools- and often found myself trying to twist the objectives of a learner experience so I could use the tools. It was often a disappointment because the tool did not serve the purpose of the learning. I learned that the learning needs to come first. And since have run a workshop a number of times which tried to emphasis this. The workshop, called “High-Tech Mindset using Low-Tech Tools”, focused on how instructors could create engaging and interactive lessons easily in the absences of technology. Technology makes it easier to do things in certain ways, but it isn’t necessarily better.