Changing our default settings

The five posts below are a follow-up to my talk at the 2015 English Australia Conference. Here’s the abstract:

In his recent book, Distrusting Educational Technology (Routledge, 2014), Neil Selwyn called for educators to adopt a ‘pessimistic’ stance towards educational technology, arguing that this will “provide a powerful basis for exploring ways that educational technologies can be used by individuals to better survive within an inherently imperfect world.”

However, based on a recent survey of teachers, teacher trainers and managers conducted by the presenter, [there is some evidence] that ELT professionals tend to optimistic regarding the activities of technology companies and use of their products in education. If we have concerns, it seems they are likely to be about practical or pedagogical issues. During this talk, we will discuss the results of this survey and the questions which emerge: If educators do indeed have a tendency to be optimistic, why might this be? What are the issues concerning us? Are there other serious issues relating to educational technology we should be concerned about? Are we being critical enough? The aim of this discussion is to ‘problematize’ the presence of technology in education to ensure we are prepared for the changes and challenges in the ‘inherently imperfect world’ ahead of us.

Part 1: Attitudes to educational technology

Part 2: Educational technology as ideology

Part 3: The Student Data Blueprint

Part 4: Unpaid digital labour

Part 5: The Five-Point Plan