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Technology in Schools and the Zebra Mussel in The Great Lakes – an Evasive Metaphor

Technology in Schools and the Zebra Mussel in The Great Lakes – an evasive Metaphor

As a scientist, I had to roll my eyes several times when reading the theoretical framework of this piece. “Oh great,? I thought, “here comes another wishy washy qualitative lens to describe something that we already know?. I was surprised to find out that the this metaphor, at times, nicely explained the complex phenomena of technology integration (or lack thereof) in schools. I was even more shocked to find out how quantitative the study was. I’ve learned that ed researchers are big on their metaphors to explain complex phenomena; this is similar to modeling done by scientist and engineers who try to explain and predict using simplified graphical constructs. The social aspect of schools resonated the most with me – as one of the informal go to people in the district, I’d often be called upon by colleagues to help troubleshoot and recommend new technologies. The relationships and play time are key to lasting and meaningful implementation. Much of the other pieces in the study, like the ineffectiveness of professional development and other top down models, were not surprising, but the metaphor helped tie some of these things together. There may have been some big issues w/ the IV of the study but they did a nice job of explaining their data sources in the appendix and cautioning against generalization. However, it was only elementary schools that they studied. At any rate, I am still a bit skeptical of this metaphor and worry about its perceived practical use by practitioners.

Hmm… why would Michigan State would choose such a metaphor?