A big idea a day – today’s idea “idea technology”

Over the next month I’ll be doing a lot of reading. In order to prepare for my comprehensive exams I have more than 100 articles to read – I’m about half way through. As I read, I’m finding that I’m learning lots of really interesting things, and I find myself wishing I had an opportunity to use some of this new knowledge in conversations – but all my time is being spend reading. So, instead of conversing, I figured I’d try to blog about one “big idea” per day based upon my reading. Now, I might not make one every day, but I’ll try to get out at least 5 per week.

Today’s “big idea” comes from Hooper, S., & Rieber, L. P. (1995). Teaching with technology. In A. C. Ornstein (Ed.), Teaching: Theory into practice (pp. 154-170). Needham Heights: Allyn and Bacon.

In this article about technology adoption, the authors describes two types of technology, product technology and idea technology. Product technology are the products created by manufacturers or companies, and idea technology are the ideas that support the use of the technology in learning context. For example, consider my post on Workflows. In this post, I had realized that in order to understand how I used my iPad, I needed to explain not just the applications I used, I also needed to explain the workflow. The iPad itself and the application (iAnnotate) represent product technology. These are things that you can buy (although iAnnotate is just software, it is still a prepacked “thing”). The Workflow represents idea technology, that is, it explains a context and a way in which to make use of the technology within a specific context. In order to increase the likelihood of technology adoption, “effective uses of technology in education require a blend of product and idea technologies” (Hooper, S. & Rieber, L.P, 1995, p.162).

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