Instructional Designs and Educational Assessments

for the

Digital Age

Digital technology has become nearly ubiquitous in some parts of the world. However, globally 2/3 of people alive today are living in poverty lacking sufficient food and water for sustaining their lives; living on the lower frames of Maslow's hierarchy of human needs. The reach of technology has profoundly exacerbated the gap and the phrase "Digital Divide" barely exposes the edges of the problem. The past 15 years have witnessed a dramatic infusion of digital technology across vast economic gaps as exemplified by the smart phone / tablet revolution. Unfortunately the past few months have witnessed the challenges of digital technology in the delivery of education. The COVID19 pandemic has set education on a path that has been dependent on digital technology but at the same time has open our eyes to yet another dramatic GAP in our equality.

Corporations have embraced digital technology to greatly increase their capability and expand their profits. Teaching, instruction, learning have also been embraced to make the engines of commerce more cost effective. Technology corporations (those corporations that are vendors of technology) look on education as a vast untapped market. Instructional designers are co-opted and unenlightened testing is leveraged to maintain perceptions of inadequacy among schools, students and their teachers.

Information technology and the cognitive assessment of information has lagged behind the trajectory of digital technologies. Gaps have been filled with entertainment, advertising and a vast expansion of access to the flow of daily news events; some worthy of attention and much that is not. Education remains locked in a paradigm that only rarely enables attention to meaning-making and the foundations of knowledge and its relevance.

Some future topics to be addressed in this page:

  • Making the distinction between "for the Digital Age" and "in a Digital Age."
  • How should design and testing change in a digital environment?
  • What can digital technology contribute to social equity?
  • Global reach of technologies. Potential for changing the social order in developing countries.
  • Rural regions and access to digital infrastructure. NW Wisconsin as exemplary of quasi-private development through leveraging federal grants.
  • Brain-drain and Brain-gain as liability and asset for rural regions.
  • Information Ecology -- Following Thomas Davenport's book from 1997 to underscore how information assets within organizations may be used for power and economic gain.
  • Intellectual Capital should be ubiquitous and has become increasingly accessible through open access and digital tools such as Wiki software.
  • Information is Sequestered (and myths are maintained) by Social Institutions (corporations, schools, governments, non-profits, NGOs, Faith-based Organizations) to Maintain Economic and Social Advantage
  • Teaching for Thinking - The Digital Age demands critical analysis of statements to determine the truth about content.
  • Critical Analysis and Anticipatory Thinking (Futures for Education).
IDEA Consortium Home Page

Last revised 19 October 2020