I love a good mash-up. It's a digital age version of synthesis.
Actually, that's a little misleading - synthesis is a skill required by academics and scholars, whether technology is present or not. But a mash-up takes several ideas, formats or sources and places them together in a new form, to say something new. That's why I like it. It's creative and it's often thought provoking.Amy Burvall
and I did this a while back, when we invited people to write some thoughts on learning around an image. #Blimage
caught on, encouraging hundreds of educators to write blogs, and spawned several other mash-up ideas related to blogging, including #TwistedPair
(where two seemingly unconnected people were brought together to create a metaphor about learning - what about Donald Trump
and Mickey Mouse
I saw the above image on Twitter today, courtesy of Mark Barnes
(originally from this post
by Jackie Gerstein) and it got me thinking. How much more could we say about the uses of technology when we place them up against a pre-digital age theory such as Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs model? I did something similar when I speculated on how Paulo Friere might view blogging
. I followed this up with Lev Vygotsky, Jean Piaget and how learning from YouTube
draws on constructivist theories, and then Wikipedia - a Marxist perspective
. You can have a lot of fun with this approach to personalised learning.Maslow's Hierarchy
is a very well know theory, and has featured in numerous slides, journals, books and blogs in the past. It's a simple model and requires little effort to see how it could be applied to explain motivation. Yes, it has problems, conceptually, structurally and academically. Carl Rogers for example, disputed its relevance as a hierarchical progression of activities, when he claimed that he had observed people self actualising instantly. The concept of self-actualisation is in itself problematic, and the means through which Maslow obtained his data have also been cast into doubt.
But putting these objections aside, there is a lot that could be done with this model and its application to an explanation of how we use technology. Does technology offer no support whatsoever
for physiological needs? What about Fitbits and other health related wearable technologies? The model in the graphic also misses out on some important higher level connections - what about digital music making in the aesthetic area? (In fairness, Jackie mentions this in the original post) In the orginal Maslow model, a higher level - transcendence - is included which is almost always missing from published versions - usually because it is poorly understood. What technologies might apply to this level of human experience?
Image courtesy of Jackie Gerstein
Maslow, technology and learning by Steve Wheeler
was written in Plymouth, England and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Posted by Steve Wheeler from Learning with e's