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Posted By: Hector Vila on December 9, 2003
Dear Dr. Perusek, Thank your for your learned and thoughtful response--though it has little to do with the thrust of my own earlier response to the original query. I have indeed read some of the publications you suggest, but no all. These are, as you suggest, useful and rich. Perhaps the clarity of my earlier response was (obviously?) no evident: this is probably my fault.

I'll try again...

The fact that we're indeed involved in a dialog about the meaning of terms--technology education vs Educational technology--is characteristic of a state of confusion in education, and if not confusion, then a lack of understanding about how to go about the work of which educational technology is but a small piece, as you suggest.

Yes, there are cases, of course, where we have evidence of creative uses of technology; however, these are few and far between. For the most part, though, we're pretty much somewhere in-between the world described by Larry Cuban (Oversold and Underused) and that described or assessed by Jane M. Healy (Failure to Connect).

Part of the problem--if we can call it such--is that educators, those that I've had the luxury to work with ARE indeed reading and trying to make sense of the publications you site; these publications, necessary and informative, are FLAT, however. These are reports, (questionable) benchmarks , essential histories and so on. But for the most part, these publications--and again I repeat how essential these are--leave out the more perhaps creative or imaginative world that is actually looking at how we need to engage with technology, in and out of the classroom, and how we are indeed engaging with technology so as to better assess who we are and what we're doing. I'm thinking of Lévy, here, Johnson, Manovich, likewise; also, I'm thinking of Barabási, and, yes, the essential Nussbaum: these worlds have to be creatively synthesized with the worlds you site. I'm also thinking that the best practices used by teachers --I'm thinking of Ruth Vinz (Composing a Teaching Life), here-- are NOT a regular part of the teaching and learning we're trying to create and thus model when using technology. This is, for the most part, absent.

Thus, this is why we may perhaps be focused on terminology, which is necessary and part of the growth, I agree, if you're thinking this too, but which also fails to ask the essential question: why are we indeed asking these questions about terms, anyway? what is it in our world that is NOT happening--or that is--and which compels us to wonder about these terms ? what's missing in what we're doing, particularly when speaking about benchmarks that are, for the most part, inadequate, even much lower than what students and teachers can actually do?

Finally, about my method here: since we don't know each other, I'm alluding to texts only because in this kind of interface, contextualizing a conversation is essential, I find. So, as you've shown me what you read, I too have to show you where I'm coming from.

If you need to get to know me better, here are some links to recent work:

check out media studies work just getting off the ground in 2 elementary schools (still in rough form):


check out course work, a collaboration:


...and follow a collaborative professional project which was delivered in England last summer, here:


Very stimulating, Dr. Perusek--thank you. I wasn't sure anyone was "watching."


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 Technology education by Lisa Delany on November 26, 2002
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