When an irresistible force meets an immovable object

Monday, April 2nd, 2012 | education, ICT in Africa

What happens when an irresistible – or unstoppable – force meets an immovable object?  This has been the topic of many philosophical discussions.

Purists argue that this is a paradox: in a universe that allows for an irresistible force, an immovable object cannot exist, and likewise, in a universe where an immovable object is possible, an irresistible force cannot exist.

If, however, we ignore the laws of physics, this question becomes a useful metaphor.  Is it not an apt description of an encounter between a mother and a determined toddler or of what happens when a besotted man pursues an uninterested woman?  And does it not help to paint a picture of what happens when technological innovation tries to enter the ultra-conservative sphere of education?

The advance of technology is relentless.  It has penetrated most areas of human activity.  Medicine, engineering and commerce did not prove to be immovable but allowed technology to transform them for the better.

Education in South Africa is, to date, relatively unmoved by technology.  With the exception of a few pockets of technology adoption, little is done to allow technology into schools to enhance teaching and learning.
How long will it take for the waves to wear the rocks down?

The example of the unstoppable force of wave after wave bashing against immovable rocks has been used to explain what can happen in the hypothetical situation of an irresistible force meeting an object that’s immovable: eventual erosion of the object.  But this can take centuries!  We can’t wait for technology to wear down the education system over time – an immediate solution is required.

If technology continues on its unstoppable course (which is inevitable), and education continues to be unmoved by technology (which will be a tragedy), a disaster is inevitable … one that will leave South Africa with a digitally illiterate cohort of learners.

What can you and I do to avert this catastrophe?

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1 Comment to When an irresistible force meets an immovable object

Grant
Thursday, 19 April, 2012

Today, we believe, the KEY to introducing educational technology into schools that perhaps have fallen behind the advances made in technology, is simple!! Instead of trying to advance education to catch up with technology, rather take a step back in technology. When a learner has access to no technology, keep it simple is key. Kobus is correct, we can’t wait for technology to wear down the education system over time – an immediate solution is required. http://www.thecontentcompany.co.za

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