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You want (edtech) angst? Take it from a millennial.

I’m green. Like, really green.

I’ve been in the edtech world for four years now: first as an OER publishing professional at a university system, then a digital humanities support specialist working directly with faculty and students at a single campus, and now an instructional support specialist with Reclaim Hosting developing a robust and nuanced support service for their primarily higher education institution clients. In this limited time, I’ve been inspired, confounded, wary, and hopeful, progressively and all at once. I’ve learned from the Old Guard what the beauty of the grassroots, opensource edtech creed is, and seen the real-life effects of this work on students who are, for the time being, closer to my peers than a fully separate generation.

But the fact remains: this edtech thing isn’t over. We’re still in it in this generation, we still need it. In my view, edtech is the single most empowering path for teachers and learners to reclaim their digital agency. Because, what’s the alternative? More of what Silicone Valley-inspired Capital E’s1 have been banking on this whole time: stressed out college kids tempted by convenience, reassured by their ignorance, jaded by the system, promised an end-game if they can “just get through the semester.” What’s worse, this isn’t just about academia anymore. The metaverse is coming, and it’s not a democracy; it can’t be so long as the surfs can’t read.

The Reverend points out, “Seeing the next generation of edtechs come into their own has been the unexpected joy of playing the long-game.”

Martin Weller elaborates on this:

“I agree about the new generation of ed tech practitioners coming through – and I think those of us who’ve been around shouldn’t bemoan the state of current ed tech too much, when these people are shaping it to their own ends. I have no evidence for this, but my experience suggests a lot of new ed tech people are driven by values, such as social justice, rather than an interest in the tech itself.”

And while I’m only sneaking down the path they hacked for me with their well-worn machetes, I can say with at least some weight, “We’re here. We know you’re burnt out, but we’re growing, and we’ll keep going.”

Photo by Tangerine Newt at Unsplash.

  1. Alan Levine clearly points out the difference between Edtech (capital E) and edtech (lowercase E) in the current discourse in Edtech Who the &*#% are you?

3 thoughts on “You want (edtech) angst? Take it from a millennial.”

  1. Jim and Martin are old, I am still a kid 😉 Thanks for taking to the blog to take a stand, and frankly, while you may call yourself green, you have done more in your first four years than I did!

    Keep in the lower case train. I believe we can do more from acting from that space that pontificating on it. And congrats for landing a spot with the Reclaim crew.

    1. Thank you so much, Alan! I’m extremely fortunate to be part of a team that encourages this kind of discussion. 😎

  2. They’re here! And that makes me very happy. The fact you have immediately tuned into the discussion and suggest there is still yet a generative path to be forged for learners with edtech is about the best message I have heard in a while. Avanti!

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