Still life in old tools?

It seems like ages since I wrote a post (and this will be the first of two about today) – and even longer since I sat trying to write a blog post on the train….so it’s quite nice to be rekindling old habits to talk about “old things”.

Today was the Learning And Skills Group Summer Conference, billed as a follow up event to the main Learning Technologies Conference – it’s just this one is free to members and past attendees – so you often get a different mix of people – however all are united by the use of technology in learning, which is quite relevant to this post.

Over the past couple of years, I’ve had this discussion with many people – but it was mentioned a lot today – so it seems like as good a time as any to bring it up. Are the old style theories and processes dead? Have they had their time? Were they ever right? Everyone will have their views, but I’m trying to establish whether my view is tainted as an educational technologist, or if they are actually just outdated/completely incorrect.

A number of the sessions I sat in today talked about the way that these theories (and I’m talking about Maslow’s hierarchy, learning styles, character profiling etc.) are all actually complete rubbish, and most (all) of the people present agreed – but is that just because we’re just all EdTech people?

Now I’ve done a number of learning styles/character profiling (MBTI etc) – and I’ve always been amazed at ‘how right they are’ in ‘showing me’ – but then…I’ve just answered 100 questions – that will tell you who I am….I don’t necessarily behave that way all the time, or just because everyone else does.

Is there still any value in these tools? Please share your views, and please also explain your context (are you involved in face-or-face or technology-based education delivery).