Technology runs amok

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“There is an evil tendency underlying all our technology – the tendency to do what
is reasonable even when it isn’t any good.”

~ Robert Pirsig, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance (credit to Bob at bob@lakesideadvisors.com for unearthing this bit)

We hauled out the laptops today. We did our latest standardized test. It’s easy to do all this testing nowadays thanks to all the computers sitting around. We can measure. So we measure. Afterwards, we measure, and measure again for good measure. The ease of data collection creates an atmosphere conducive to data collection.

Eduhonesty: Inundated with data, I am blogging away here, in part to avoid trying to begin to figure out all the data that has flooded into my various inboxes and googledoc folders this month. I am pretty much drowning in data. The tentacles of my googledocs keep wrapping themselves around what little organization I manage to create, snuffing out my hopes of figuring out exactly what may be lurking within my many inboxes.

Googledocs can easily be shared with many people at once. And, oh, do we share. Sometimes we are required to share. Minutes for meetings have to go to all participants, would-be participants and administrators who prefer not to participate but need to confirm the existence of the meetings they miss. Great lesson materials get shared, enthusiastically passed on to colleagues. I regularly share my ideas. Click, click.

All of this is reasonable. However, as we struggle to find time to actually do our job — to teach — I wonder if it’s any good.