A Postmodern View
The impetus behind the research and writing of this paper was an inescapable sense of concern over the state of my chosen field, Educational Technology, and my role in that field.
In a primarily positivist environment such as the United States, the fields of science and technology continue to take on almost mythic proportions as the solution to any and all problems, regardless of the human issues involved. It is more than a little bothersome to me to consider becoming part of that solution without giving extensive thought to the darker side of such a proposition.
In my view, the conversation is undeniably incomplete. I fear that the wanton application of educational technology as the solution to educational issues such as knowledge acquisition, metacognitive skills development, and learner self-empowerment may prove to be a highly detrimental paradox; that by seeking to solve human problems of this nature with technical solutions we worsen the situation rather than improve it, by dehumanizing people further through the overt development and distribution of educational programs with a covert agenda that, at best, may be of value to a portion of the population, and at worst, may be coercive and dominating to another.
In this paper, I explore the some of the current perspectives in educational technology. I discuss the differences between conservative and liberal agendas, and seek to understand how these agendas are played out against the backdrop 'modern' and 'postmodern' ideologies. Ethics as a basis for behavior is discussed, and a postmodern paradigm of educational technology is explored, which leans heavily on feminist discourse, ethics and pedagogy. I conclude with comments on the path that I have chosen to follow in the field of educational technology.