Tue 5 Jun 2012
[Rant part 2:]
Machine-induced personalised experiences have hitherto left me in a state of dissatisfaction and disempowerment.
The overwhelming impression I get from it is that personalisation is manifested as someone else’s attempt to control what I can do, see, or connect to. This I perceive not as affording learning support, but as patronising. It also isolates the user from the world at large. How is this supposed to produce better learning?
It is naive to assume that replacing general one-size-fits-all approaches with generically manufactured personalisation algorithms are any different. It has nothing to do with making the user feel they’re someone special (- the core of a personal approach between people). What if I don’t want to be treated as a rule of averages, but as an exception?
In educational terms, personalised experiences, like learning style algorithms, individualised learning paths, etc. operate in the opposite direction to participatory collaborative learning. This egocentric world view excludes by definition the possibility of learning to see the world from other people’s perspective! But this is a vital precondition to mutual cultural understanding and tolerance.