Degeneration Response

While reading Degeneration I couldn’t help but think that one day our statistics will also seem ridiculous. Computer memory and storage alone double every 6 months. In fact I remember watching a rerun of friends where Chandler gets a brand new computer. I couldn’t help but laugh as he read off the specs. My Ipod had more computing power than his top of the line computer. It is laughable to think that the same thing won’t eventually happen to our technology. Heck, even my friends reference is showing it’s age. Still, even in those dark ages people managed to get work done.
I find it curious how little we value technology that is considered “outdated”. Old products are cast aside or thrown away in favor of new and flashy models. Sure, to those who can afford it, purchasing new technologies seems to be a logical step, but it’s important to realize that old technologies are still cutting edge to those that cannot afford it. I wonder what would happen if all of the “outdated” computers were donated to the less fortunate instead of simply recycled or thrown away. In the worst case scenario they may not be used (similar to what would have happened anyway). But in the best case scenario someone will have access to technologies (and the affordances they provide) that circumstances would have rendered impossible to attain.

While reading “Models of growth — towards fundamental change in learning environments.” I found it interesting, but not surprising, that process was heavily emphasized. While I attended high school I was a part of 3 major restructuring attempts. This ranged from having 3 vice principles, to having 3 different “Academies”. Did any of these restructures work? Well… I don’t know Maybe it worked at some other school. Maybe the conditions weren’t right at our school. Maybe we didn’t have enough time to see any changes. There are many variables that play into where or not the changes could be considered successful that it’s hard to say how or why things are effective. This is why I think focusing on the process makes sense. Perhaps the point wasn’t that 3 principals would equal a great school, Perhaps the point was that with more vice principals there would be less workload for each which would translate to better management. It’s too bad that most people are content adapting to things that worked in other situations rather than trying to figure out why.