Dana points me to an interview with Steve Maher, and there, lo and behold, I find a crucial thread for my already satisfyingly tangley argument on the subject of digital technology and education. I already knew that we had long ago abandoned philosophical investigation in favour of information (or data), and that therefore the governing shibboleth of our pedagogical understanding was access, understood as technological access to information (or data management). But here, for the first time clearly, I see someone taking the next logical step. For Steve Maher does not see access as a means to information. He sees information as a means to access. Think I’m kidding? Here it is:
Q: So do you see information as a part of what you teach?
A: It’s the material that we use to teach. The way I think of it is that our relationship with information is changing. The last time this happened, speech and memory were replaced with automated text, and because of that, the industrial revolution, the scientific revolution, the Enlightenment and the Protestant Reformation happened. So if our relationship with information is changing, then we have to figure out what it is we have to prepare the kids for, and recalling information might be just a remnant of the industrial age where they just have to remember a bunch of stuff.
This guy’s a high school teacher. For him, information is just the material he uses to teach how to use computers.