Let us hope that "ICT" is dead and buried

Fragment of a discussion from Talk:PeterT's bliki
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I am intrigued by your argument that the changes that digital technology have made are "peripheral" to the core of disciplines.

It seems to me to parallel the debate about whether digital technology has changed how we think and/or learn. In that debate I tend towards saying that digital technology hasn't fundamentally changed how we think or learn - it may be that some of our 'cognitive muscles' have become flabby from lack of use, and other 'cognitive muscles' have got stronger. However, there may come a point, and this is where I struggle, at which the unused 'cognitive muscles' atrophy, and when that happens then something has changed (cos those 'cognitive muscles' no longer exist, they can't be revitalised by future use).

I do wonder what the point of a discipline is - and I guess I would argue that it is about a way of seeing and engaging with the world. If that is the case, and as you have agreed, digital technology has changed the ways in which we apply knowledge, work, think is worth learning, provided new sources of evidence (and allowed us to ask and answer new questions) then hasn't the discipline changed (even if some of the fundamental 'knowledge' has remained constant?

I'd love to hear from other people who are experts in other disciplines on their views about whether or not digital technology has changed their discipline. My strong feeling is that it has, whilst agreeing that some fundamental principles (e.g. 1+1=2) have not changed.

PeterT16:49, 8 May 2013

I think we are very close on this one - and I agree that the general discussion is an interesting one. I think it also parallels an educational discussion about the point at which you move to vocational courses. If it is the application of subject knowledge rather than its fundamental principles that have changed, then too much emphasis on technological application may represent a premature move to vocational training.

At the same time, I think that abstract principle needs to be contextualised in a variety of challenging and compelling ways. E.g. what maths was used to work out the mass of the Siberian meteorite? My only quibble is that this is a function of pedagogy and not curriculum (i.e. top level learning objectives).

I echo your call for more contributions to the discussion!

Crispin Weston09:52, 13 May 2013