The morning comes to consciousness
Of faint stale smells of beer
From the sawdust –trampled street
With all its muddy feet that press
To early coffee stands.
With the other masquerades
That time resumes,
One thinks of all the hands
That are raising dinghy shades
In a thousand furnished rooms.
Eliot is prescient - there is a faint stale smell of beer in the street outside the apartment this morning and after raising the dinghy shades of our furnished rooms in Christchurch, I am thinking about the masquerades and carnivalesque conversations that have consumed me at ULearn06 this week.
Margaret Lloyd from the Queensland University of Technology Australia –has a crafted ontology in “The enacted myths of computer education” that has been particularly useful in coding Brown’s conference opening speech mentionings of “personalisation through participation”, “choice and opportunity”, “connection, content, capability and community”, “incremental and inclusive”, “making up and creating the future in the present”, “if New Zealand is going to be transformed”, “business plans, governance and management”, “authentication and authorisation”.
Brown buttoned all the buttons of Lloyd’s sociological, political, economic, pedagogical and technological myths about computers in schools in the opening speech
- Sociological: where computers in schools meet the demands of parent groups, local authorities and governments and “advertising hype and hope” (Williams, 1995, p. 3). Summed up by Cuban (1993) with the mantra that “computers … are the future and schools must prepare students for it” (p. 190).
- Political : Everything from election promises to government policy to power divisions within schools and access to funding and resources.
- Economic: Where computers in schools were promoted as meeting the needs of industry and preparing a technologically-literate workforce. The economic “impulse” for computers education embodies: … the drive to bring schools technologically in step with the workplace because of the fear that students will be unprepared … to compete in the job market and to adjust to the changing marketplace where bank teller machines, bar codes on products … and other electronic devices prevail. (Cuban, 1993, pp. 189-190)
- Pedagogical : Where computers were promoted in classrooms as interactive learning tools. In this, they embody both the expectation “that computer technology will improve learning” and “the circumstances for better learning” (Williams, 1995, p. 3). The pedagogical “impulse” for computers in schools comes from a diverse coalition of academics, educators and neo-progressive administrators and officials who:… seek to change schools in which learning comprises tediously absorbing large bodies of non-functional knowledge unconnected to life. … They want schools in which knowledge is shared by all members of the community. … Interactive computers and telecommunications are mind-tools that could make these self-directed communities possible.(Cuban, 1993, p. 190)
- Technological determinism: The construct which implies that technology is autonomous and “will bring about changes in … society, … that the nature of those changes is inherent in the technology: [and] society has no say in the matter” (Burton, 1992, p. 22).
Myth tagging at an (e) conference is too easy, it is an activity that lacks challenge and is essentially predictable.
What I want to explore is how to categorise the emerging concepts of Brown’s opening remarks through a feral hypertext (Walker 2005) of folksonomy - Del.icio.us tags and annotations.
I wonder if it is possible to tag "Brown's opening address" against verses from TS Eliot’s The Love Song of J Alfred Prufrock.
“personalisation through participation”>”Let us go then you and I”
“choice and opportunity” > “To wonder, “Do I dare?” and “Do I dare?”
“connection, content, capability and community” > “In the room the women come and go. Talking of Michelangelo”
“incremental and inclusive” > “I have measured out my life with coffee spoons”
“making up and creating the future in the present” > “I am no prophet – and here’s no great matter”
“if New Zealand is going to be transformed” > “To squeeze the universe into a ball”
“business plans, governance and management”> “and time yet for a hundred indecisions, and a hundred visions and revisions”
“authentication and authorisation” > “That is not what I meant at all. That is not it, at all.”
For at Ulearn06
“We have lingered in the chambers of the sea
By seagirls wreathed with seaweed red and brown
Till human voices wake us, and we drown.”