[iDC] Juan Manuel Lopez Garduño intro

Juan Manuel López Garduño jmlg101 at gmail.com
Sun Jun 19 19:53:34 UTC 2011

First off I need to apologize for the possible language problems I´ll have
as I carry on this conversation. Although I am a native English speaker, all
my professional and academic discourse for more than 25 years is done is
Spanish to the point where I feel many constraints trying to articulate many
of the ideas I want to discuss. If along with this limitation I factor into
the equation my need to go beyond the bilingual aspects and convey the
essence of the conversation we´ll have from a bi cultural vantage point it
gets even trickier. Anyway I hope I don´t get too “lost in bi cultural

I think it is safe to say that my interest in using technology as a bridge
between classrooms and the surrounding community started with my involvement
in the development of a tiny community museum in the southern state of
Oaxaca in 1986. Although there was no significant use of technology at the
time, it became clear that there was an important link between education,
museums and community that could foster the social fabric that is needed to
sustain the notion of collective good that becomes the very foundation of
any community´s social capital.

Fast forward 25 years and along the way there are many dots that must be
connected to understand the origin, the crossroads and the destination of my
teams goal to build a sense a community through the classroom experience so
that children can find a minimal sense of direction in their life. However
living in Mexico I think it won´t be to hard to imagine why I have taken
this approach with technology in education. Only through education in
general can we mend the daily tearing of our social fabric due to the
ongoing violence that has taken over 40,000 lives during the last 4 years,
many of them teenagers, It is this higher social purpose and not just the
issues related to technical issues that we have to take into account. I´m
convinced we have to go beyond the wow factor to avoid the demagogy that
leads to a cosmetic use of technology in education.

In many aspects my views will sound very critical of computers and mobile
devices as educational resources, but Mexico is at a point where there is
little room for more mistaken investments made through a highly a
centralized decision making process. For example one cannot underestimate
how profoundly critical the cyberbullying issue can become in a country
where almost any child is less than two degrees from any violent event. If
anything this unique international experience and the projects I am
undertaking can serve as a *magnified reference point* for issues that can
generate negative impacts if  the deployment of mobile platforms for
educational purposes is not properly planned from a pedagogical perspective.

Juan Manuel Lopez Garduño
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