Agenda: Class 3

ET 690 Educational Technology Seminar

"The purpose of this book is not only to put forward reasons that make sense but to play a role in promoting a serious conversation about reasons." --Postman, p. 91

"We need to ask what characteristics of the technology interact with the social context of its use to benefit some people at the expense of others and to reinforce existing power relations; and what possibilities exist for constructing alternative contexts of use favoring more progressive outcomes, for breaking down existing power relations. The relevant issues are demonstrably not technical ones; this is what I mean in advocating the view that technology is a social practice." --Bromley (in Bromley and Apple, p. 2)

  1. All technological change is a Faustian bargain. For every advantage a new technology offers, there is always a corresponding disadvantage.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. A new technology usually makes war against an old technology. It competes with it for time, attention, money, prestige, and a "worldview."
  5. Technological change is not additive; it is ecological. A new technology does not merely add something; it changes everything.
  6. Because of the symbolic forms in which information is encoded, different technologies have different intellectual and emotional biases.
  7. Because of the accessibility and speed of their information, different technologies have different political biases.
  8. Because of their physical form, different technologies have different sensory biases.
  9. Because of the conditions in which we attend to them, different technologies have different social biases.
  10. Because of their technical and economic structure, different technologies have different content biases.

--Postman, pp. 192-193

Return to ET690 Home Page.

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

Last Updated: January 31, 2014