posted by Nancy Dick
Separate the technology used from the conceptual learning; don’t overinvest in learning technology, but concentrate on underlying principles. Example: Carl Chatfield learned Ventura Publisher & Macintosh hypercards (RIP), which provided him the conceptual foundations of desktop publishing and interactivity.
This speaks to my question of a couple weeks ago: how much effort should we put into learning technology which may be essential one day and obsolete the next? For years I’ve been reassuring my students that the technology which at first encounter seems very foreign (Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, etc) becomes familiar over time as they see similar vocabulary and UI in multiple softwares. On another level, I also was trained as a vocational educator to identify teaching concepts as distinct from teaching processes. We do both, but it’s important to identify (at least internally) whether you’re teaching a concept or a process in a given lesson.
I think Carl’s comments helped me clarify my thinking on this topic. There’s intrinsic value in learning technology as a way to get to the underlying concepts, and short-time-to-technical-obsolescence doesn’t necessarily mean the skill was learned in vain.