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A Devil’s Dictionary of Educational Technology

A Devil’s Dictionary of Educational Technology

In the dark and satirical spirit of Ambrose Bierce, I offer the first draft of a Devil’s Dictionary for educational technology terms.  May it entertain, and all be forgiven.
App, n.  An elegant way to avoid the World Wide Web.
Blended learning, n.  The practice of combining digital and analog teaching.  Also referred to as “teaching”, “learning”, and “the real world”.
Blogging, v.  The practice of writing to and interacting with an audience through an easy to use, automatically archiving tool.  A curiosity, which might be significant if every anyone used it.  Can be neatly buried by the LMS.
Competency-based education (CBE), n.  A tentative recognition that learning might occur outside of academia.  Obviously dangerous, and preferably reserved for the lower classes.
Digital native, n.  Student worker.
Engagement, n. That which everyone talks about but really does not know what it means. (thanks to Elena)
FERPA, n.  An excellent euphemism for the English word “no.” (See also “HIPAA”)
Gaming, n.  A massive cultural artifact shared by a huge swath of the human race, perhaps the most advanced integration of multimedia and storytelling, capable of teaching in fascinating ways.  Let us never speak of it again.
HIPAA, n.  A powerful synonym for the English phrase “no way”.  (See also “FERPA”)
Infographic, n.  An easy way to avoid reading and writing.
Interactive whiteboard, n.  A stylish but expensive alternative to paintings and wall hangings.
Lifelong learning, n.  An institution’s strategy for extracting money from alumni.  Also known as “development”.
LMS, n. 1) A document management system, whereby a faculty member can transfer a single document to his or her students.  Curiously overpowered for this purpose, nevertheless universally deployed.
2) A good way to avoid legal notices about copyright.
3)  The graveyard of pedagogical intentions.  A sump for IT budgets.
Luddite, n.  Someone who doesn’t study history, yet wants to inaccurately claim to be militantly anti-technology in one area when simultaneously relying heavily on technology in every other aspect of their lives.
Mobile, n.  1) Formerly The Great Peril, now known as That Which Must Be Shunned.  To be enabled with campus wifi, but dreaded in actual use, especially in classrooms.
2) A technology widely used by blacks, latinos, and poor people.  Someday we could think about starting to strategize about beginning to respond to this fact.
MOOC, n..  A high-profile and expensive way to put content on the World Wide Web.
Etymology is obscure; may draw on Massive Open Online Cult or Massively Open Otherworldly Course,  Can only be discussed as an American invention.
Open Education Resources, n.  A flexible and low cost way for students to access and produce content, while engaging faculty creativity and providing multiple class options.  Faculty are unaware of it.  Further study at some point in the future could be considered.
RIAA, n.  A friendly and major stakeholder in campus technology decision-making.
Shadow IT department, n.  A mysterious alliance that does a lot of work on campus.  It seems to include little start-up companies like Google, Amazon, Apple, Microsoft, and others.
World Wide Web, n.  A strange new technology, the reality of which can be fended off or ignored through the LMS, proprietary databases, non-linking mobile apps, and judicious use of login requirements.

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