Metaphors of Ed Tech
By Martin Weller
Metaphors of Ed TechMay 11, 2023
Smart motorways and ed tech implementation
In this episode I explore how the rollout of smart motorways in the UK, and the reaction to it, has lessons for educational technology implementation.
Smart motorways and tech adoption
Visual metaphors, branding and blogging - with guest Jim Groom
I talk with Jim Groom of Reclaim Hosting about the use of metaphors in their branding, edupunk, runaway metaphors, and film.
How To Probe the Depths of Nautically-Themed Open-Source Projects Using Moby Dick
Presenting Reclaim Cloud at OER23
Getting back in the conference swing with OER23
Data is the new flesh, long live Dr Oblivion
Teaching with metaphors & fiction - with Eamon Costello
I am joined by Eamon Costello from Dublin City University and we discuss his use of metaphors in teaching and using speculative fiction.
On two metaphors for learning and the dangers of choosing just one.
Decolonization is not a metaphor
Rewild my heart: With pedagogies of love, kindness and the sun and moon
Who cares about learning design? Near future superheroes and villains of an educational ethics of care
VLEs: A Metaphorical History from Sharks to Limpets
Judge Dredd and Cursed Earth of Ed Tech
The dangers of metaphors
In this short episode I offer some areas of caution around the use of metaphors.
Explanation is an event, understanding is a process: How (not) to explain anything with metaphor
OER23 special, with guest Maren Deepwell
I discuss the OER23 conference with ALT CEO Maren Deepwell. We talk about how the conference has evolved, and the OER23 conference in Inverness, plus some of the metaphors we liked during sessions there.
OER23 Programme (incl videos of keynotes)
Maren's blogpost on previous OER conferences
Death Star Economics and Early Internet Metaphors
In this episode I explore the economics of investing in a centralised "Death Star" type solution, and also examine some early metaphors for the internet such as the Information SuperHighway
Death Star vs Storm Trooper investment
What's in a name? Early Internet Metaphors
Internet design and Digital Resilience
This episode looks at two metaphors that have relevance to the pandemic and the online pivot. Firstly, the design of the internet as a model of a robust system, and secondly the notion of resilience from ecology to examine institutions ability to adapt to crises.
Brief History of the Internet. The Internet Society
Naughton, J. (1999). A Brief History of the Future: Origins of the Internet. Weidenfeld & Nicolson
The UK Open University COVID Response: A Sector Case Study
Grit: Perseverance and passion for long-term goals
Grit: A Short History of a Useful Concept
Resilience and stability of ecological systems
Resilience, adaptability and transformability in social–ecological systems
Digital resilience in higher education
Jaws and mudlarks
I explore two metaphors in this episode: How the movie Jaws relates to the online pivot, and how mudlarks provide a metaphor for educational technologists.
COVID-19 screening strategies that permit the safe re-opening of college campuses.
Integrating ideology and archetype in rhetorical criticism, part II: A case study of Jaws
Reification and utopia in mass culture.
“Jaws”: The shifting models of masculinity in Steven Spielberg’s blockbuster.
Mudlarking: Lost and found on the river Thames
In this episode I explore a number of music related metaphors, including edupunk, the educator as DJ and the pillars of hip-hop.
The Glass Bees (original Edupunk post)
EDUPUNK or, on becoming a useful idiot.
25 years of edtech: 2008—EDUPUNK!
Jargon watch: Green crude, popcorning, edupunk
Diy U: Edupunks, Edupreneurs, and the Coming Transformation of Higher Education
Lectures and Haunted Houses
In this episode I examine the lecture from two perspectives. Firstly as the main model that people hold for higher education and how that limits our imagination when it comes to online learning. Secondly, the haunted house novel is used to explore the reasons for continuing with the lecture when students have stopped attending.
Why do education secretaries hate online learning?
How to responsibly reopen colleges in the fall
Is it live or is it internet? Experimental estimates of the effects of online instruction on student learning
Rethinking university teaching: A conversational framework for the effective use of learning technologies.
Twitter thread on empty lectures
The Rebecca Riots and Hunter Gatherers
In this episode I explore two metaphors that relate to open practice. The first are the 19th century riots in West Wales which focused on Toll Gates, and I make the connection to reactions to academic publishing with movements like ICanHazPDF and Sci-Hub. The second metaphor looks at anthropology and how the role of women in hunter gatherer societies was often overlooked by researchers. This is analogous to the types of activity in academic practice which might be overlooked in academic institutions.
Who’s downloading pirated papers? Everyone
The Rebecca riots: A study in agrarian discontent
Is the staggeringly profitable business of scientific publishing bad for science?
“Big deal” publishing costs European universities over €1B a year
Man the hunter, woman the gatherer? The impact of gender studies on hunter-gatherer research (a retrospective)
Women the gatherer: Male bias in anthropology
What hunters do for a living, or, how to make out on scarce resources
Has Feminism Changed Archaeology?
Women in evolution, part II: Subsistence and social organization among early hominids
LTHEchat – The Story of a Community of Practice through Twitter
Emotional labor in academia: The case of professors
Pedagogy of care: COVID-19 edition
Inferior: How science got women wrong and the new research that’s rewriting the story
Digital natives and Uber for Education
In this episode I explore two rather persistent, and often damaging, metaphors, namely that of Digital Natives and Uber (or other technology companies) for Education.
Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants
Is It Age or IT: First Steps Toward Understanding the Net Generation
The “digital natives” debate: A critical review of the evidence.
The net generation and digital natives: Implications for higher education
Self organising systems for mass computer literacy: Findings from the “hole in the wall” experiments
Hope-in-the-Wall? A digital promise for free learning
Unbundling and rebundling higher education in an age of inequality.
World’s 1st blockchain university to begin teaching in 2019
Disgruntled drivers and “cultural challenges”: Uber admits to its biggest risk factors
Uber’s nightmare has just begun
VAR and VLEs
I explore two metaphors relating to specific educational technologies. Firstly, the implementation of Video Assisted Refereeing in football and what it tells us about learning analytics in education is explored. Then the various metaphors relating to VLEs (or LMSs) are discussed.
VLEs: A metaphorical history from sharks to limpets
The inside story of how FIFA’s controversial VAR system was born
The problems created by VAR are worse than those it was designed to solve
Learning analytics: The emergence of a discipline
Castell Coch and Rewilding
I look at two metaphors: The Welsh castle, Castell Coch, and what it tells us about venture capital investment in higher education; The rewilding approach to introducing apex predators and how we can think about our ed tech ecosystems.
Cardiff and the Marquesses of Bute
Educating Silicon Valley: Corporate education reform and the reproduction of the techno-economic revolution
My manifesto for rewilding the world.
Wilding: The return of nature to a British farm.
Reintroduction of wolves to Yellowstone National Park: History, values, and ecosystem restoration
The Internet Trinity
I explore early metaphors of the Internet and how these shaped our thinking, but then how they have changed also over time.
Foucault in cyberspace: Surveillance, sovereignty, and hardwired censors.
What Gamergate should have taught us about the 'alt-right'
Since when is it illegal to just mention a trademark online? (Streisand Effect)
Why metaphors and ed tech
I briefly set out the reasoning behind using metaphors to talk about educational technology, and then how metaphors work and shape our thinking.
Why Metaphors Matter in Education
When a bad metaphor may not be a victimless crime: The role of metaphor in social policy
On Two Metaphors for Learning and the Dangers of Choosing Just One