On mediated learning experiences
I used to be a teacher. A History teacher, in fact. It's part of who I am and so, even though I've been out of the classroom a few years, I still feel like I can comment on technology that's destined for it. Perhaps I shouldn't.
Today, at OKCon I came across a Facebook app that took learners' Facebook profiles and tried to match their interests with historical events.
As a one-off, or used sparingly, these kinds of things can be extremely memorable. I remember fondly teaching Year 7 the claimants to the English throne in 1066 via the medium of the gameshow 'Blind Date'. But it has diminishing returns. Learners remember the medium but not the message when this kind of thing is used too much.
I've got no problems with hooks for learning. Nor have I got any problem with using analogies and metaphors, prancing around doing re-enactments, or generally being daft. Goodness knows I used to do enough of it myself. That's all just good teaching.
What I have got a problem with, I suppose, is using a proprietary platform to somehow second-guess what a learner might be interested based off their stated interests. There's so many issues with that I don't know where to begin.
In the defence of this particular app, it's aimed at 18+. But even so, I'd love to see an explanation of its utility based on pedagogy rather than what's technologically possible.