Titled "Soft stuff, hard stuff and invisible elephants", Dron described the following:
- the meaning of technology
- the inclusion of pedagogies as technologies
- SOFT and HARD technologies
- getting the right balance between them
- how to move from soft to hard and vice versa
- and the elephant in the room - "it ain't just what you do, it's the way that you do it. A bad technology, used well, can work brilliantly, while a good technology, used badly, can be useless".
Dron defines technology as the "orchestration of phenomena for some use" (W. Brian Arthur) and classifies them as:
- Soft tech - an active orchestration of phenomena by people
- Hard tech - the orchestration is embeded into a device.
He points out that all technologies are ASSEMBLIES of other technologies and tools, some soft, some hard.
Getting the right balance of this for a given time, context and learner is difficult and needs the "Goldilock moment":
- Not too soft
- Not too hard
- Just right!
In discussions about the MOOC approach, Dron said that making the learner have control over the hardness or softness of the technology will allow the learner to have the right balance and find their Goldilocks moment.
Findings regarding the effect of technology on learning generally state NO SIGNIFICANT DIFFERENCE - Dron makes the point that it is not the technology but how it is used, what he calls the elephant in the room.