The Golden Bullet in Educational Technology

The elusive golden bullet- an educational technology that fulfills every goal. This theoretical bullet will solve every problem. The analogy would be a bullet that, when fired, would destroy every problem in the world without any negative side effects.

Rather than developing golden bullets, focus on your goals like the weapon designer would focus on a single target type. The first part of educational design is to pick out a suitable, singular target. Perhaps that’s a group of self motivated business people that want learn basic Chinese, or a government wishing to raise the average level of basic computer literacy in their teenage population.

Only when the smallest, roundest goal is defined should a solution be developed. Analogously, if the target is an old can, perhaps the solution is a rifle, if it’s a military bunker, perhaps it’s a cruise missile. Both serve different but valuable purposes, and both have radically different designs.  A cruise missile for a can is expensive, and a rifle for a bunker is ineffective.

If you’re an educational technology developer, start by focusing on the goals you can reach your current capabilities – whether they are axes and swords or missiles and tanks. As your funding and skills improve, you may work steadily upwards, or you may improve at making axes quickly and effectively. Know your abilities and don’t aim for a goal that’s five miles away with a boomerang, or you’re only going to hurt yourself. (unless you’re good at catching)

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