My Masters

Technology is peeeeeople!

Note: This is a cross post from my Masters blog.

To paraphrase Charlton Heston in perhaps one of the worst movies of all time (so bad it’s good) Soylent Green; Technology is people!

Shari has hit something on the head with her post yesterday, moving beyond a tech wannabe. It’s an important point and one that underscores why I am taking a Masters in Learning and Technology.

Technology is not RAM, it’s not processors, it’s not even about Mac vs PC. For me, technology is about people.

Look at Shari’s comments:

Last night I connected wirelessly within the Grant building, and was working with my team when a Skype video call came in. My 8 year old daughter was skyping and I carried my laptop around the hallways of Grant building during our video chat. At one point in the conversation I flipped my computer around and showed her a peacock. Then I came back into our hot sweaty meeting room and introduced her to my teammates – she waved and showed off the popsicle she was eating. I do love technology.

So, while many would see me as a techie (which is an interesting because I see techies as the person I call when my computer breaks), at my heart – and despite my introvert status on the MBTI – I am a people person. After all, I am human and human beings are, by default, social creatures living in a society. For me, I am most interested in how the tech revolution we are currently living through (and to be more specific how the web revolution) disrupts society and how we all handle this.

I am not a tech utopian, and this seismic shift that is happening in the world is not going to be easy or smooth. The invention of the printing press was highly disruptive for many organizations, good and bad, and what we are talking about with the web is the ability to create 6 billion printing presses…all connected.

That will be disruptive, for good and bad. And, I think, will transform us. For good and bad.

One of my favorite quotes is from author Clay Shirky who says in his 2008 book “Here Comes Everybody“, “the conversation doesn’t get interesting until the tools get boring.” It is at that point that we will see the truly transformative power of the web on our society. When technology becomes invisible – when making Skype calls to our kids is as common as making a phone call today is – that is when we will see the effects of the web on society.

For educators, I believe this shift will have profound implications on how we do our jobs. But that’s another post.

CC BY 4.0 Technology is peeeeeople! by Clint Lalonde is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Comments

  1. You hit on the reason I left IT for the Ed Tech world, the need to focus more on people (and their learning problems) instead of 'making the widgets work' (which we still need to do, but not as an end in itself). Since I first began my career, my mantra has been "If I am doing my job properly I will be out of a job in a couple of years." Inevitably things change and this doesn't come to pass (so I leave ;-), but if you understand this to mean 'helping new technologies become integrated into the regular working/learning lives of people' then I've successfully put myself out of a job at least 3 times!

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