Friday, June 08, 2012

This is Where We're Stuck in Educational Computing

Dave Winer:

There were a lot of things Steve Jobs was right about.

Probably the most important thing he got right was realizing that you have to build a great stadium before you can invent great sports. An example of this was the decision in 1986 to build every Mac with networking. So you could just string ordinary phone wire through an office and have email or chat or video games connecting all the workstations.

There is a constant stream of concern trolling over educational technology about the fact that sometimes you build a fancy state of the art stadium and the sport flops, or vice versa.

Or if you build the stadium just a tiny bit before the sport, the owner goes bankrupt and the stadium falls into disrepair almost immediately.

It should be perfectly obvious that the only thing you can do is just build a cheap and sturdy stadium and give the sport time to develop. Waiting for everything to come together perfectly at exactly the same moment is never going to happen.

Full disclosure: Winer's metaphor does not actually reflect how sports develop, but we'll ignore that.

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