What the Tofflers Wrote About Rates of Change

In 2006, futurists Alvin Toffler and Heidi Toffler captured the relative speed of change throughout society with this scale: businesses appear to be adopting new information technologies and adapting to them at 100 miles per hour, with other organizations (such as professional organizations and non-governmental organizations) moving almost as quickly; families in the United States […]

Semiotic Democracy

Palfrey and Gasser (2016) used the term semiotic democracy to describe the effects of participatory content creation on society. They observed, “any citizen with the skills, time, and access to digital technologies to do so may reinterpret and reshape the stories of the day” (p. 233). It appears high school students are providing us with […]

Frameworks Defined

A continuum can be created with educational scholars placed at one extreme and educators at the other; educational theory is placed on the extreme with scholars and models of instruction are placed on the extreme with practitioners. Between these two extremes, there exists a gap that must be filled if instruction is to be informed […]

Putt’s Law & School IT

The situation regarding IT management in many schools is well-captured by the hypothetical (and sarcastic) Putt’s Law. According to Archibald Putt, “Technology is dominated by two types of people: those who understand what they do not manage and those who manage what they do not understand” (Putt, 2006, p. 7). Further, Putt articulated a corollary, […]

What Michael Crichton Wrote about Computers

Michael Crichton (who would later author Jurassic Park among other well-known novels) wrote Electronic Life in 1983; the book was his response to friends and acquaintances who were constantly seeking his advice on buying, setting up, and using their first computers and that would become embedded in the culture as computers gained acceptance and penetrated […]

Progressive Discourse

As a wicked problem, the process of education—and thus the planning for education—appears different depending on many personal and societal factors that influences one’s perspective. (Stakeholder groups are commonly identified to categorize those with different perspectives on education; but that does not capture the individualized nature of one’s perspective, nor does the term recognize the […]

Theory in Planning

In the vernacular, “theory” is associated with ideas that are incomplete or not necessarily true. Among educators, and other pragmatic professionals such as technologists, theory is often associated with unrealistic or idealistic thinking that has little connection to her or his work The interpretations of theory are unfortunate, however, as theory can inform and focus […]

Theory and Practice in Education

Education is one of several soft technologies that share an interesting trait: The scholars who discover the science behind the natural phenomena that are the basis of the technology and the practitioners who apply that science to the human purpose are different people. Other examples of human technologies marked by this trait include agriculture (botanists, […]