Technology is great.
My first real job out of college was at the Miami Herald in 1999, where I was the new Digital Pre-Press Paginator for the Classifieds. I watched an entire department of veteran cut-and-pasters, who had served the publisher for decades, get replaced by two 20-somethings and their computers.
Technology makes things easier, faster, and–over time–cheaper. Most of all, technology means we don’t have to interact with other humans. Over time, I have watched scanners replace toll-booth operators, self-service stations replace cashiers, and websites replace bookstores. Increasingly, we have online video recordings replacing teachers and teaching.
The rise in online education has me–and many others–questioning the values and practices of education on campus. I’d like to think that meeting in a physical space has value. But unless we begin to think of human interaction as a technology in itself that aids learning, I can see why publicly funded institutions would want to go the way of Khan.
In this session, I propose that we formulate a technology of human interaction. What does this technology consist of? What are its advantages and specs? How does it impact learning and growth? Along these lines, I’m also thinking of the technology of human resources. Why are our institutions investing so much money in technology rather than in humans? Why aren’t humans as effective as machines?
Technology is great. So let’s make human interaction an irresistible technology.