Course:ETEC511/511HETReading3

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ETEC 511 History of Educational Technology: Discourse Leadership:
Learning Module: Overview :: Audio - Paul & Petrina (2002) :: Reading #1 - Moody (1999) :: Reading #2 - Petrina (2004) :: Reading #3 - Petrina (2002) :: Wiki Activity :: Twitter BackChannel Discussion :: Conclusion
DLG Foundations: Learning Theory :: References

Created and Facilitated by: Rachel Bronk, Sharon Hann, Emily Jarvis, Aaron Mueller and Andrew Olson



Summary of Getting a Purchase on 'The School of Tomorrow’ and Its Constituent Commodities: Histories and Historiographies of Technologies

The previous required Petrina reading for this week regarding automation of education fits within the broader scope of this optional article . Educational technology is examined in terms of the historical context surrounding all aspects of schooling and learning, from the actual physical design of structures and classrooms, to the range of jobs and responsibilities within the school building, to the cultural construction of learning materials, to the social implications of learning artifacts. Within this multi-disciplinary examination of the history of education technology, there is a strong undercurrent of the emergence and effects of standardization within the context of education. Another emerging theme, which is included in the Pressey narrative, is the commodification of education technologies, and the emergence of the education marketing machine. The history, development, challenges and successes over the last 100 years are succinctly and critically examined.

The discussion of shifting power structures within the context of human roles in the school leaps from the page, most particularly the treatment of the role of the janitor, or custodian of the school. With our contemporary focus on pandemic flu outbreaks, perhaps we will see a re-emergence of the janitor as a figure of power.

The over-arching theme from this article appears to be about learning as much as we can from the histories of educational technology and what we can carry forward in this endless death march of progress!!  ;)

Discussion Questions

Please address these questions by responding to the appropriate thread in Vista discussions

1) In what ways are school systems designed to meet the needs of:

  • Students as physical beings?
  • Students as intellectual beings?
  • Students as social beings?
  • Students as a part of a larger, local community?
  • Students as a part of a larger, global community?

2) How are the following items (inter-) related within the larger context of the school as a system? Curriculum, physical spaces, virtual spaces, teaching materials, testing materials?

3) We often are engaged in heated debates over the efficacy and necessity of standardized testing. What other aspects of education are standardized? Perhaps more notably, what aspects of education are not?


In light of the fact that this is an optional reading, we invite you to reflect on our summary in relation to the other readings in this module. Petrina (2002) brings up some issues that we would like to address in a Wiki activity found here