Home > Uncategorized > Tinker – Before his time?

Tinker – Before his time?

Ice machines, steamboats and education

Tinker, R., 2000, ‘Ice Machines, Steamboats, and Education: Structural Change and Educational Technologies’, In proceedings: The Secretary’s Conference on Educational Technology, Alexandria, VA

A great analysis of technological revolutions. Sure, he isn’t commenting directly on the open source movement, however his insights are perhaps even more relevant now then they were ten years ago. His call for radical shifts in the structure of education policy, curriculum and pedagogy are very applicable to this issue. How else can we realise the full potential of the open source movement?

Quotable quotes:

  • ‘every revolutionary technology starts with a whimper. Its full revolutionary bang is realized only later after fundamental structural changes are made to accomodate the new technology.
  • we are due for profound improvements in education ‘ as soon as we are willing to make the necessary structural changes’
  • ‘the textbook-based approach to teaching science is too limiting and too inflexible; it belongs in the prior century’
  • ‘requires a structural change in curriculum design and dissemination’
  • ‘a complete curriculum would consist of a framework with all slots filled with excellent, highly interactive, research-based materials that take full advantage of data and modeling tools. The result will be richer than a text, because it will provide interaction, computation and collaboration in the context of learning resources’.
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