The Original Factory Education Was a Personalized Learning Experiment

Mike Caulfield’s blog post is an interesting analysis of teaching.


“From the perpetual agency of this System, idleness cannot exist… [T]he whole is a beautiful picture of the most animated industry, and resembles the various machinery of a cloth manufactory, completely executing their different offices, and all set in motion by one active engine.” — Rev. Cordiner, describing the popular Madras System of education in 1820.

Audrey Watters has a great summary of the recent personalization debate, followed by some excellent analysis on some of the politics and history of personalization technology.

In that article she demonstrates that personalization through technology has been an obsession since the invention of the earliest teaching machines. Such efforts may work poorly or they may work well. But they represent a continuation of how we have viewed teaching machines throughout the past century and a half, not a revolution.

Let me throw another log on the fire.

Because all the rhetoric around how we…

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