Hoadley’s Laws of Edtech

Professor Chris Hoadley is a faculty member at NYU Steinhardt and director of the Laboratory for Design of Learning, Collaboration, and Experience. He’s made several predictions about the future of edtech (which you can watch here). But what may be more interesting for our purposes are his 3 Laws of Edtech.

  1. It’s not the technology. It’s what you do with it.
  2. It’s not what the technology makes possible. It’s what it makes easy.
  3. Pay attention to the trends in learning, not in technology.

These laws seem to coincide pretty well with what the majority of people in edtech are trying to emphasize. The first makes it clear that technology is a tool. A tool that can be misused, under-used, and even over-used. It’s important that when technology is being integrated into classrooms that the focus is on the educational benefits, not just incorporating it for the sake of incorporating it. It is very easy to get carried away when looking into the latest and greatest tech.

Law #2 expands on this idea a bit. Technology makes a lot of things possible in education. Everything from digital textbooks to the more advanced learning environments. But if these things are difficult or overly complicated to use, it’s unlikely that the benefits outweigh the disadvantages. If using tech to its full potential takes away from learning at all, than it’s probably not suited to the classroom.

Finally law #3, which may be last but is certainly not least. It reminds of what we’re always saying ¬†here: content is key. Trends in learning are exponentially more important than trends in technology, especially because we’re talking about edtech here. Of course, suiting the latest technology to education is an important process, is much more advantageous to focusing on curriculums and teaching methods.

What do you think of Hoadley’s Laws? Would you change any of them? Or add anything?