Saturday, April 10, 2010

Robert Mendenhall on Technology in Education

I think this will be my last in this series of blog posts dissecting the 1995 House Committee Hearing on Technology in Education. When I started posting these clips a couple weeks ago my intent was to create a collection of highlights of Seymour Papert's testimony. Fortunately I found many other great clips in this piece from others including Kay, Dede, Goodling and Foley. However, the second two hours a different panel took the floor.

This has been fun revisiting this hearing. It has also been fun to read the comments both on my blog and on Twitter that these clips have spawned. In general it feels like they have sparked a kind of nostalgia in people as if to say, "Oh yeah, that was what we dreamed things would become, wasn't that dream great." I still hold out some hope that the vision of education so clearly articulated by Seymour Papert, Alan Kay, and Chris Dede back in 1995 can still come to fruition but worry because to a large extent Dewey and Kilpatrick were saying these things in the first half of the 20th century. Perhaps we are nearing a moment though of transformation that has simply taken a century to come as Pete Reilly suggested on his blog post back in December: Technology Transformation: The Death Valley Bloom (If you have never read this it is definitely worth your while).

I will leave this series with Robert Mendenhall's testimony (from the second panel). Knowing that this was fifteen years ago and knowing what has transpired in education policy since then you have to wonder if the politicians listening to this testimony only honed in on where Mendenhall says we need better standardized tests and ignored everything else.

Here is a list of all clips from this series:

1 comment:

Mrs. Tenkely said...

I have really enjoyed this series, thank you for stirring us all up again. I was in 8th grade when these videos were filmed. I am amazed that we are sitting in the same place. Little had changed in the way that school is done. I aim to change this and am so glad that there are others who are equally passionate to do so!