Technopoly – The Academic Course

September 25th, 2010

Postman, Neil. Technopoly: The Surrender of Culture to Technology. Vintage, 1993.

Another take-away from Technopoly is somewhat oddly-founded, as it is based on a bit of a tangent that Postman pursues as an example of technologies coming in disguise (in Chapter 8: Invisible Technologies). He discusses the idea of academic courses in the educational world.

A course is a technology for learning. I have “taught” about two hundred of them and do not know why each one lasts exactly fifteen weeks, or why each meeting lasts exactly one hour and fifty minutes. If the answer is that it is done for administrative convenience, then a course is a fraudulent technology. It is put forward as a desirable structure for learning when in fact it is only a structure for allocating space, for convenient record-keeping, and for control of faculty time. (138)

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