A small handful of superintendents and principals around the globe are going to extremes to rid people of ed-tech addiction. As a last resort against unsustainable technology investments and ed-tech reform, these administrators are attempting to obliterate tech-gadget-desirability by excising a part of their teacher's brain. And they are doing it in the face of worldwide condemnation, and, in the name of educational leadership research.
"We can no longer support," shares John Woetechnazi, "spending countless billions of taxpayer dollars on edtech-guided experimentation in our schools. Children are suffering." The procedure involves using micro-lasers to lance the skulls of teachers, assistant principals, district technology specialists, inserting powerful electrodes which erode the part of the brain called the nucleus accumbens.
This area, often referred to as the "pleasure center" of the brain, is the major center of the brain's techno-lust circuit. Dopamine, a neurotransmitter, stimulates cells here to elicit the pleasurable sensations we achieve from fondling iPads, Nexus 7 android tablets, writing blog entries about ed-tech reform, twitter as what will save education as we know it, or partaking in mind-altering virtual reality experiences.
Electrodes serve as the conduit for electrical currents--not Google Current, BTW--that assassinate the cells of the nucleus accumbens. By ridding edtech bloggers, tech-gadget loving teachers, campus/district instructional technologists of their techno-lust, educational leaders hope to rid them of their expensive habits, freeing their hands, so to speak, to do what is required--high stakes test preparation needed to meet legislative demands.
The outpatient surgery is performed during after-school faculty and staff meetings, as well as during weekend professional development. Since subjects are usually awake, this minimizes the chance of damaging regions involved in sensation, movement, or consciousness.
The stigma associated with ed-tech addiction is particularly strong in the U.S., Australia, and other countries with strong legislative reform agenda, characterized by the belief that, "Nothing educators do will be good enough in public schools, so let's privatize the whole venture anyways." Thus, the radical cure might be considered appropriate for the gadget madness. In 2012, however, the World Against Technology in Teaching (WATT) condemned the procedure after determining that there wasn't enough scientifically-based research to support its efficacy; WATT has turned to the U.S. Government's Race to the Top, an extension of NCLB, as a viable alternative.
Setting aside the devastating risk of damaged brain tissue, is it worth being cured of ed-tech addiction if, in losing the disease, we also submit to legislative reforms who strip us of our human dignity and creativity? Humanity has always been composed of tool-makers, tool-users...should we lose that for a more robust educational system that achieves those ends superintendents, politicians desire? That's a choice that each school district has to make for itself.
Correction: That's a choice each creator has already made for itself.
Disclaimer: This article is a fun (I thought so) adaptation of the one written by Peter Murray entitled, China Uses Controversial Brain Surgery to Cure Addiction. It is intended as humor. Interpret in any other way, and that's your problem.
- I love edtech. http://goo.gl/ZTR55
- Addiction. http://www.neurope.eu/sites/default/files/imagecache/400xY/addiction.jpg
- Brain. http://goo.gl/5nYQr
Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin's blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure