on February 17 2020 at 9:03 p.m.
Hello, and thank you for visiting our presentation session.
Critical theory in learning technologies is an exciting topic, especially today, where we find ourselves heavily dependent on technology to get ourselves through a pandemic.
Critical theory in education is known to support teachers as they delve more deeply into their content. What are some of your experiences that speak to the importance of critical theory in your classroom?
The ability to critique what we see, visual literacy, facilitates wisdom and responsiveness to societal inequities and injustices. For instance, in the context of this virus, my daughter shared a photo she took at the grocery store. The packaged salads were all sold out except for a row of "Asian Salad." Seeing and sharing on social media this representation of societal opinion will hopefully have an impact on levels of understanding and empathy.
Using the lens of critical theory to critique what we see, as you rightly said, has a huge impact on our empathy. Racism in the classroom, for example, can be curbed if perpetrators understood histories. In implementing technologies, we develop empathy and a sense of responsibility for our students when we appreciate their histories and family dynamics.
in reply to Lauren Cifuentes
I appreciate this topic! It's important to use critical theory to unpack the narrative that learning technologies reduce boundaries. Studying the ways that is true and the ways that is not true (just one example: school districts buying expensive technology that surrounding districts cannot afford in order to increase the relative value of their schools) is work that needs to be done more extensively.
Questioning access to the technologies as well as what forms of learning occurs with this access is crucial. Several learning contexts with individual access to the learning technologies still need to pay attention for students with varied backgrounds Questions of race, class, language and gender need to be asked in these learning contexts.
in reply to Leah Metcalf
Thank you, Pallavi! I like that you added we should be asking questions. Asking questions is good for change. I remember a colleague commenting in passing to me saying, "the day you stop asking questions is the day you die." And of course, "die" was not in the literal sense, but there is a deeper meaning to it. When we stop questioning race and oppressive acts in contexts, we stop growing and lose out on opportunities to be "better."
in reply to Pallavi Chhabra
Thank you, Leah! Having access to technology without using them to benefit society and individuals is wrong on many levels, especially in an educational setting. Schools have a responsibility to educate, and educators should critically address oppressive behaviors that put educational communities in separate bubbles.
I believe the work that needs to ensue on this front starts with the individual taking a responsibly active stand and critically analyzing the impact of the gaps and oppressions on future generations.
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