Don’t believe the hype?

Some of you may be familiar with the Gartner Hype Cycle that is a graphical representation of the maturity, adoption and business application of specific technologies.

The latest incarnation recognised the rise of Twitter / microblogging and even spotted the emergence of behavioural economics as a subject.

However, Gartner also produces versions of the Hype Cycle relating to technological developments in specific sectors and Times Higher Education recently reported on the Hype Cycle for education (as outlined below).

The assertion that podcasting learning content was “obsolete before reaching the plateau” may come as a surprise to some – for example Oxford University recently celebrated their 1 millionth download from iTunes U.

A more nuanced reading of the report shows that radio style audio podcasts have morphed into more complex learning objects usually using video – which reflects the real life move from audio to video initiated by the explosion of YouTube.

While analysis of the hype around particular technologies may be useful for trend spotters, the actual deployment and use of technology is perhaps more important – a lesson from our work with the Virtual Training Suite is that students need help in the intelligent use of technology.

Otherwise the danger is that the conversation becomes one between people who like technology, talking to other people who like technology about how great technology is.

Intute features more academic Internet resources about podcasting, YouTube and Educational Technology.