What Can the “Simpsons” Teach Us about Educational Technology?

Audrey Armitage at EdWeek draws a comparison between an episode of the Simpsons where the elementary school disastrously implements educational technology and Education Week’s recent Technology Counts 2015 report.

Not surprisingly, the fictional school’s ed-tech effort fails spectacularly and comedically. A massive power surge destroys the new devices and leaves Springfield’s educators at a loss for effective instruction ideas.

One teacher rattles off random, disjointed words to her class: “Roman numerals…photosynthesis…”

Another resorts to using marshmallows to teach a typing class.

The show clearly exaggerates schools’ unpreparedness for new technology—but perhaps not by as much as we’d like to believe.

So, taken as a (tongue-in-cheek) cautionary tale, what lessons might we gain by thinking about what the school didn’t do to prepare for their educational technology? How could we avoid making the same mistakes?