First we had bloodlust, then wanderlust, now: technolust

16 09 2008

Technolust: ‘an irrational love for new technology combined with unrealistic expectations for the solutions it brings’ according to Michael Stephens in Library Journal. It’s a term I’ve only recently become aware of but it’s something that could be very pertinent in terms of using new technologies in education. Michael J Buega is critical of so-called ‘Hoopla-dites‘, broadly speaking people working in H.E who uncritically purchase and implement technologies on the basis of them being new and exciting rather than genuinely useful. Buega’s article Could you be a hoopla-dite? in The Chronicle of Higher Education lays out his critique of such types, most interestingly pointing out the cost of failed technologies to institutions and, by association, to students and their families. The flip side of technolust is technophobia, luddism 2.0 if you will. Stephens offers a 10 point plan for implementing new technologies whilst negotiating technolusters and technophobes in this article in Reference and User Services Quarterly. It’s long but worth a read; I particularly liked his emphasis on using beta versions and involving users in the creative process.

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29 09 2008
ostephens

I don’t disagree with the stuff that Michael says (and usually says very well), balancing the ‘planning and preparation’ stuff he advocates – e.g. environmental scans, timelines – against the ‘getting on a doing stuff’ approach he also advocates – e.g. beta is your friend.

I think this is the crux of point 7 in the article you link to “Overthink and die” – but it is much more difficult in practice than in theory I think.

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