Paper 1: Postman, The End of Education
ET 690 Educational Technology Seminar
Write a brief paper to answer the following questions. The
paper should be typed and double-spaced and conform to basic rules
Be sure that the paper is double-spaced, with 1 inch
margins, in a 12 point font, and with numbered pages. Whie the specific
page guidelines within questions 1 and 2 are approximate, under no
should the entire paper be fewer than 5 pages or greater than
10 pages (not including a separate page for a title or an optional
page for references). Your answers should reflect a thorough
of the text as well as deep and serious thought. This paper relates to
Educational Technology Program Key Concept 9 Critical Perspectives.
On pages 192-193, Postman says:
Discuss this quote in two parts:
- All technological change is a Faustian bargain. For every
advantage a new technology offers, there is always a corresponding
- The advantages and disadvantages of new technologies are
never distributed evenly among the population. This means that
every new technology benefits some and harms others.
- Embedded in every technology there is a powerful idea, sometimes
two or three powerful ideas. Like language itself, a technology
predisposes us to favor and value certain perspectives and accomplishments
and to subordinate others. Every technology has a philosophy,
which is given expression in how the technology makes people
use their minds, in what it makes us do with our bodies, in how
it codifies the world, in which of our senses it amplifies, in
which of our emotional and intellectual tendencies it disregards.
- A new technology usually makes war against an old technology. It competes with it for time, attention, money, prestige, and
- Technological change is not additive; it is ecological. A
new technology does not merely add something; it changes everything.
- Because of the symbolic forms in which information is encoded,
different technologies have different intellectual and
- Because of the accessibility and speed of their information,
different technologies have different political biases.
- Because of their physical form, different technologies have
different sensory biases.
- Because of the conditions in which we attend to them, different
technologies have different social biases.
- Because of their technical and economic structure, different
technologies have different content biases.
1. In approximately 1 page, what does this quote mean? Keep in mind
that there are 10 parts to this quote, and with only 1 page, you are
not going to focus on the details but rather summarize this quote in a
way that you could use as a framework for understanding technology.
2. In approximately 1 page, expand on your answer to question 1 to
think about how this can be a framework for understanding technology in
3. With the remaining pages of your paper, think about the framework
that you (and Postman) developed in questions 1 and 2 and apply this to
one or two technologies that might be found in schools now or in the
Return to ET690 Home Page.
This page was prepared by Dr.
David M. Marcovitz.
Last Updated: August 4, 2016