Could we kindly protect educators from buzzword-itis?

There are some words that make people eyes roll. Words like ‘cloud computing’, and ‘gamification.’ I won’t go into my favorite list here. Done it elsewhere.

I remember when I first ran into the term “the Internet of things” and wondered if it was some passing techno-babble. I had heard it from someone deeply involved in working on this, while working on an article. Now suddenly it is everywhere. And no surprise it’s cropping up in my profession –in education.

It is in the latest Horizon Report, a sort of annual, state of the Union piece about emerging technologies in education for the past 12 years.

If you scroll down to page 42, the authors remind us that (besides the fact that hybrid learning models and connectedness will be vital to learning), this Internet of things idea will be soon upon us. Well, in about five years. No wonder companies such as Intel have thrown a lot of brains and money on this. Acronyms too – they refer to it as ‘IoT’.

Speaking of buzzwords, I began swooping up a lot of them this week in prep for the ISTE Conference in Atlanta. I don’t blame my tech colleagues in education. They get swamped by the vendors Which suits me nicely because 70 percent of my other job as a tech columnist, involves ridding sensible business ideas of their buzzwords. This kind of sentence, for instance:

“Cloud Services, an open and massively scalable cloud platform purpose-built for the Internet of Things.”

And where do you think this kind of scalable, cloudy language shows up?

The afore-mentioned Horizon Report, aimed at educators, of course!



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