Minding the gap

This is one of the many evocative images from BETT 2016. It's a great example taken from a large array of thought provoking graffiti art that appeared on the walls of the BETT Arena during the show. The image was posted on Twitter by Lars Henriksen (aka @lektoren) based on a tweet from @serhatgurgun and I think it captures one of the most important messages to emerge from the event. The slogan 'Mind the gap between educational technology and technology in education' can be translated as: technology should be used with pedagogical purpose and should never be used just for the sake of it.

Many teachers would agree that technology works best when it is embedded into the learning experience, where it can be used to extend, enrich or enliven learning. I had several conversations with those who bemoaned the fact that schools tend to buy new technology because someone has seen something new and interesting at a show such as BETT and then, when it arrives, they don't really know what to do with it. So the expensive technology gets stored away in a cupboard, gathering dust, or worse, ends up being used in the classroom just because it's there. Such use often distracts from learning, and my advice would be: if technology adds nothing useful to learning, it shouldn't be used at all. So teachers should be wary when they wander around trade shows. They should not be seduced by shiny new ideas or tools. They should ask the question: what can this idea/technology add to my students' learning that I can't do right now? If the answer is nothing, then they should move on - that technology is not for them. So watch the gap - or make sure your use of technology is so seamless and essential, that there is no gap there at all.

Photo by Lars Henriksen at the BETT Show

Creative Commons License
You are what you tweet by Steve Wheeler was written in London, England and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Comments

Simon Ensor said…
Indeed.
Enjoy BETT :-)
Steve Wheeler said…
I certainly did. The most enjoyable thing about BETT is the conversation - meeting up with old friends and new.
Divya Vasantham said…
Great post. I really loved the slogan 'Mind the gap between educational technology and technology in education'.
If the technology adds nothing to students learning they should move on without that. Every institution have to watch the gap between educational technology and technology in education. Have to use effective technology tools to improve or identify the students learning styles and learning gaps.

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