Paper 3: Toyama, Geek Heresy

ET 690 Educational Technology Seminar

Write a brief paper to answer the following questions. The paper should be in Word or RTF format and conform to basic rules of APA style. Be sure that the paper is double-spaced, with 1 inch margins, in a 12 point font, and with numbered pages. Under no circumstances should the entire paper be fewer than 5 pages or greater than 10 pages (page counts do not include your title page or an optional page dedicated to references). As you write your answers to these questions, keep in mind the length guidelines. Each question could be discussed in a brief paragraph or an entire 30-page paper. Neither is acceptable. Think deeply about what Toyama has said and reflect on it in an intelligent way.

1. "In other words, the Walkman and its descendants have allowed people to do more of something they’ve always wanted to do, even if that desire was never before expressed. You could call it a latent desire." --Toyama, p. 39

This is one example that Toyama uses to demonstrate the Law of Amplification. Do you agree with the Law of Amplification, that technology merely amplifies what we already have, or do you think that, in this example and others from the book, it is too dismissive of the change that technology brings about to simply say that it is amplifying a latent desire? Support your answer with evidence from the book and evidence from your own life. Note: I ask this question because I am struggling with it, not because there is a clear right or wrong answer.

2. Toyama lays out the proposition that technology is context-dependent. As technology leaders, part of our goal is to disseminate technology innovation for the improvement of education. How do this and other ideas from Toyama impact our ability as technology leaders to effect change? For example, are we limited to making change happen on a case-by-case basis?

3. Toyama seems to be arguing for several gods (lower-case g) that Postman missed (or addressed in a different way). Describe what you think his most important god is and how schools might change to serve that god and for that god to serve us.

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This page was prepared by Dr. David M. Marcovitz.

Last Updated: November 6, 2015