Disenthralling the DigitalI have been involved in helping folk who work in education settings make sense of and make use of various bits of digital stuff since the late 1970's. This project is about assembling a bunch of ideas that have emerged from that work and adapting and adjusting them as the saga of using computing and related technologies in formal education settings plays out.
Disenthralling is a term that Ken Robinson brought back into voguespeaking at the 2010 TED conference. He drew attention to the word that Abraham Lincoln used in an 1862 speech to Congress in which he1said:
The dogmas of the quiet past, are inadequate to the stormy present. The occasion is piled high with difficulty, and we must rise—with the occasion. As our case is new, so we must think anew, and act anew. We must disenthrall ourselves, and then we shall save our country.
Education has been in the thrall of various digital technologies since the 1980's. So entrenched are thepatternsby which schools and school systems engage with these technologies that you can reliably predict what schools will do long before any new technology hits the market. The termdogmasis perhaps a little strong but what has informed schooling and computing and related technologies for a long time is a good place to start
This project is intended to both disrupt the thinking that sustains what has gone on in schools for the past thirty years and to offer ways of thinking and acting differently. The project is made up of little chunks or blocks or argument that are, hopefully, usefully interlinked on this site. I likeHugh MacLeod's notion ofcube grenades2:
small objects that you “throw” in there in order to cause some damage- to start a conversation, to spread an idea etc.
One of the first grenades is a draft chapter in a forthcoming edited collection. There was a small grenade that preceded it. More to follow.