The Hype Cycle – but this time it’s worse

I respect Larry Cuban a lot.  I’m disappointed nervous about his most recent post.  Not because of what he has to say, but because he is a guy who knows the history of technology in schools very well.  So when he says that online schools are coming,he is probably right. (Yes, I know online schooling is not new, but he is talking about a much larger scale).

Larry talks about the hype cycle, but I think online schooling might be more problematic than previous technologies.  When each classroom was outfitted with a TV, the teacher could choose to use the TV or not.  When all schools go online, the teacher will have to teach online.  Yet, as any techno-enthusiast will note (when sufficiently pushed against a wall) we need balance.  Ya, that is true, but it’s hard to have balance between digital and non-digital instruction when school takes place online.  When we get to the “trough of disillusionment” it will be too late – you can’t simply ignore the fact that your school is now online.

Oh, and don’t give me any BS about an effective teacher would have students doing science experiments in their homes.  AHHHH!  Maybe that is true, but an effective teacher can’t then notice an anomaly and ask just the right question at just the right time to stimulate that child’s interest and push their thinking deeper than if the student simply followed the directions.

We need to stop being led down this rabbit hole.  Unfortunately, the siren call is coming from within. When you believe technology makes you a better teacher, you fall a bit further.  YOU are what make you a good teacher.  If you can’t teach well without digital technology, I am willing to bet large sums of money that you aren’t a very good teacher with digital technology.

Stop letting the Bill Gates’ of the world decide what our school should look like.


(end of rant, but no apologies)

This entry was posted in Education Reform, Nature of Teaching, Nature of technology. Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to The Hype Cycle – but this time it’s worse

  1. Sharon Kruse says:

    Very well said. It’s almost like some teachers are trying to find a way to not have to teach as much. Online has helped them, but we need the teachers who want the hands on, eye ball to eye ball type of teaching.


  2. Alyssa Jackson says:

    Mr. Kruse,

    My name is Alyssa Jackson and I am a student in Dr. Strange’s EDM310 class at the University of South Alabama. I agree with Sharon “Very well said”. I do believe that good teachers can teach with anything that is sent their ways. If technology is what is going to be set in place then a good teacher would take advantage of it. Also I like how you are a very outspoken person and like to voice your opinion.


  3. John Sowash says:

    I am in the midst of launching an online program for my traditional school. This year we ran a pilot with only a few students. The lessons we have learned is that success in an online program relies on the same fundamental principles as a traditional model: good teachers, involved parents, solid curricuum, hard working students, and a vibrant school community (these are the big ones anyway). Its not as if we need to reinvent education while taken advantage of new digital technologies.

    The fact of the mater is that society is/has changed. Families no longer live in the same community for their entire lives, many don’t even live in their native country. Studen are beginning to specialize at earlier and earlier ages and want educational opportunities that will give them a leg up on the competition for college and beyond. Online learning is one way that the needs of these families can be met.

    Online Learning is a bad choice for many students, but the best choice for others.


  4. I’m reminded of this quote via your post by Rushton Hurley:

    “You can be a good teacher and never use technology, and technology won’t turn a bad teacher into a good one. However, a good teacher who uses technology well can make great things happen!”

    Thanks for the insight!


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