Wasted opportunities

Nice comment piece on Spiked about the use of IT to reinforce the same old agenda rather than to explore new horizons:

New Labour has for a long time taken a keen interest in technology. Various schemes for using new technologies have addressed a wealth of issues, from social inclusion to promoting e-Government and tackling low voter turnout in local and national elections. But the extent to which many of these ‘schemes’ actually improve people’s lives is debatable – especially if they come at the expense of addressing the underlying causes of inequality, exclusion and poor service.

The focus on IT as a cure for social ills seems to be driven by politicians’ distrust in, and fear of, the public. They want to keep the public in check and monitor our behaviour, creating ever-more complicated and dysfunctional database systems and surveillance schemes, yet they also want to do it from a safe distance – through technology rather than anything like direct engagement.

I remember blogging briefly about the narrowness of IT use in education last year. Here we have one of the most exciting resources imaginable, and what are we doing with it? Using it to prop up the wonky leg on an old table.

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