The Impact of Paper on Technological Change

In this post Joshua Kim reviews Mark Kurlansky’s book Paper. The central thesis of the book, according to Kim, is that we tend to get the impact of technical change backwards. We think that technical change drives historical change, but actually, new technologies are created in response to the needs of societies. I agree with Kurlansky that people will continue to read books printed on paper for many years. I will definitely read this book.

You can find information on buying the book from Amazon here:

Those Were the Days of Our (Software) Lives

I have used a lot of the software programs mentioned by Joshua Kim in his article. Some of the software I used in my past computer experience, which dates back to 1984 are:

IBM Multimate – A dreadful word processor
Lotus 123 – Spreadsheet program
Word Perfect
An old database program I took a course in back in 1989. I can’t remember its name
Several versions of the BASIC programming language
MS DOS – When I started using personal computers you had to open your software program from the DOS prompt
Many versions of Adobe Photoshop, which I still use
Someday I’ll write a post about old hardware I used to use back in the day.

Should the Classroom Lecture Go Away?

I agree with Joshua Kim, teachers who are effective lecturers should continue to use them. Every morning on my drive to work I listen to a lecture from one of the Great Courses. I have listened to lectures on almost every topic there is, and they are all interesting because this company picks the best college lectures for their courses they can find, based on several metrics. I don’t think our wonderful technologies ever will, or should, replace the classroom lecture. Teachers should focus on how they can use technologies such as video to make their lectures more interesting and relevant to their students.

Will Virtual Reality Really Change Education

Joshua Kim does not think virtual reality will ever really important in education, for these reasons:

1. Technology is not really all that consequential – Platforms and content are becoming less important because educational content is becoming a commodity.
2. VR is only a tool- Same old story: Just give students shiny new tools and they will learn better.
3. Technology is not the challenge

Five Reasons why Pokemon Go will Change Education and One Reason why it Won’t

An article by John Warner – Teachers have been using scavenger hunts in education for a long time. I suppose Pokemon Go is an updated version of that. Students are ACC employees are playing it on our campus this summer, as they are doing on all college campuses I’m sure. I imagine it’s a fad and will go away in a few months.

Why Higher Education Must Resist the Platform Revolution

I agree with Joshua Kim. Colleges and universities do more important work than just transferring information to students. Information does not equal learning. The world suffers from information overload, not from a lack of information.