Why do edtech folk react badly to scepticism? Part 3: Sunk cost fallacy

2016-02-27T10:36:06+00:00February 27th, 2016|technology|

After writing a fairly frivolous article expressing scepticism about using iPads in schools, and then experiencing a torrent of invective from various iPadistas, I began a series of posts exploring why asking questions about education technology provokes such an egregious responses. In Part 1 I wrote about vested interest and in Part 2 I addressed confirmation bias. The focus of this third installment is the sunk cost fallacy. We have an irrational response to having wasted time, effort or money: I’ve committed this much, so I must continue or it will have been a waste. I spent all this time training my pupils [...]

Why do edtech folk react badly to scepticism? Part 2: Confirmation bias

2016-02-23T16:12:00+00:00February 23rd, 2016|Featured, technology|

In Part 1 I explored the concept of vested interest and how it could lead us to make decisions and react in ways which might, to others, appear irrational. This post address another predictable way we make mistakes: the confirmation bias. Confirmation bias, the tendency to over value data which supports an pre-existing belief, is something to which we all routinely fall victim. We see the world as we want it to be, not how it really is. Contrary to some of the accusations levelled at me, I don't hate technology. Far from it. I'm just sceptical about unbridled enthusiasm. Technology might help in [...]

Why do edtech folk react badly to scepticism? Part 1: Vested interest

2016-03-05T10:05:51+00:00February 20th, 2016|technology|

"It's difficult to get a man to understand something when his job depends on not understanding it." Upton Sinclair. I'm sceptical about the benefits of 'edtech'. This is, I think, a legitimate position to hold. It doesn't make me a Luddite: I'm enthusiastic about the advantages generally of technology, I'm just not so sure about the ways in which 'edtech' is sold to schools. Since writing this piece on my exasperation with the way iPads are fetishised in education I've been inundated with edtech folk pointing out what an idiot I am. Now obviously enough, I'm not that surprised. When somebody criticises something [...]

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