EDUC2604 Teachers as Educational Innovators and Agents of Change

What do you remember from Biesta's and Freire's main concepts discussed in week 2 and week 3?

Educational Technology: friend, foe or something else?

Let's start with a short video by Neil Selwyn (the author of all the readings for this week).

In this other video, Neil Selwyn talks about COVID-19 and the edTech rush. (Just under 13 minutes)

What about EdTech trends? Can you anticipate any?

Watch this short video with some EdTech trends and think about how purposeful they are. Pay close attention to the language used in the introduction of the video.

Selwyn, N. (2010). Looking beyond learning: Notes towards the critical study of educational technology. Journal of computer assisted learning, 26(1), 65-73.

As many readers may have noticed, self-reflection and self-analysis are not common features of the educational technology literature. Indeed, it could be argued that the rapid development of digital technology has ensured that educational technologists scarcely have time to keep abreast of their topic of study, yet alone cogitate on the more complex issues of definition and motivation that underpin their endeavours (although see Januszewski & Molenda 2007 as a notable exception). In fact, many people working in the field would probably refute the existence of a discrete ‘academic tribe’ of educational technologists altogether – contending that ‘educational technology’ serves merely as a flag of convenience for a loose assortment of technologically minded psychologists, pedagogy experts, maths and science educators, computer scientists, systems developers, and the like.
Educational technology can be a frustrating area of academic scholarship to follow. On one hand, thousands of hours and millions of dollars are directed towards the optimistic exploration of how technology is capable of supporting, assisting and even enhancing the act of learning. On the other hand, as anyone involved with the day-to-day realities of contemporary education in its different guises will attest, many of the fundamental elements of learning and teaching remain largely untouched by the potential of educational technology.

Selwyn, N. (2021). “There is a danger we get too robotic”: an investigation of institutional data logics within secondary schools. Educational Review.

This article addresses the pressing question of how schools make use of “data”. In particular, it documents an emerging dialectic between: (i) established logics of “datadriven” schooling; and (ii) emerging forms of school “datafication” associated with digital systems, platforms and devices. First, then, is the understanding that data describing classroom activities, students’ work, academic performance and progression can be used to guide the decisions and choices that teachers make when planning their teaching. This form of data use has been promoted widely within the teaching profession over the past 20 years, often in the guise of “data-informed instruction”, “data-driven instruction”, “databased instruction”, “teaching analytics”, and “data-driven decision making” (e.g. Schildkamp & Kuiper, 2010). This has coalesced into a broad orthodoxy that data can act as a key means to “drive significant instructional improvement” as well as wholeschool improvement (Wardrip & Shapiro, 2016, p. 18).

Remember Biesta's concept of teacher judgement.

Selwyn, N. (2013). Distrusting educational technology: Critical questions for changing times. Routledge.

Yet the use of digital technology in education should now be seen as a signifi cant issue for everyone with a stake in education. The day-to-day lives of learners and educators are saturated with digital technology use – both in terms of personal uses of digital devices and the more hidden uses of technological tools and systems by educational institutions. Digital technology continues to be an important educational priority for governments, politicians and policymakers – especially in terms of national efforts to engineer new and improved education systems with the capability to “out-educate and out-hustle the rest of the world” (Obama 2011). The use of digital technology in education is certainly of signifi - cance to commercial actors involved in the selling of technology to educational consumers – a global marketplace that is estimated conservatively to be worth in excess of $5 trillion per annum . Obscured by these interests perhaps, but no less signifi cant, educational technology is also a growing concern for parents, journalists, employers and most other education ‘stakeholders’.

What do you think: friend, foe or something else?

Created By
Michelle Ocriciano