Introduction

Aharon Aviram, Janice Richardson

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingForeword/postscript

Abstract

To those amongst the readers who have followed the complex relationship between education and ICT since its early stages, the term "turtle" might associatively recall the Logo turtle of the eighties, a creation that carried with it the promising message of radically changing education through the introduction of Information Technology (as it was then known). This was the message formed by Seymour Papert, founding father of Logo, who, for several decades now, has been preaching the constructionist gospel in an attempt to turn ICT (Information and Communication Technology) into the medium that transforms the theoretical teaching dominant in schools into practice-oriented, relevant and meaningful learning. (Papert: 1993, 1993a). This message became, in various versions and forms, the credo of many educationalists and educational reformers in the nineties. Although well known and still powerfully "celebrated" on the level of discussions and declarations, it has actually made little advance "in the field" despite a dramatic augmentation in the power and impact of ICT and the exponential growth in investments in ICT in education. It could, in fact, be said that it has advanced - if at all - at a turtle's pace. Such was the fate of other no less enthusiastic prophesies that saw in the emergence of the "learning machine" a new dawn for education, and one that could well succeed in resolving many of the fundamental problems from which it continues to suffer. The promises accompanying early enthusiasm for integrating computers in education have, for the most part, by no means come true, yet the process hasn't stopped. The opposite is the case: what in the eighties was still considered a somewhat esoteric - or at least secondary - aspect of educational change has, in the nineties turned into the flagship of all educational reforms, costing trillions of dollars or euros to tax payers. We have very good reasons to believe that this trend will continue to gather momentum in the present decade. Surely someone has to raise the question: What for? What are the goals - which we could still relate to as meaningful, valid, and credible - of this extremely costly and largely unfulfilling endeavor impinging on educational systems all over the world? What goals could possibly justify such huge investments on the part of educational systems traditionally renown for economic restraint? Here we come to the signification of the turtle in our title. When asking "Upon what does the turtle stand?", we are really asking: What are the guiding values and principals that drive the extremely demanding enterprise of merging education and ICT, or educational culture and digital culture? For now, so it seems, the world of education is literally tottering on its axis for want of a valid response.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationUpon What Does the Turtle Stand?
Subtitle of host publicationRethinking Education for the Digital Age
PublisherSpringer Netherlands
Pages1-24
Number of pages24
ISBN (Print)1402027982, 9781402027987
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2005

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