Activity 6: Role of “Ed” in future Ed Tech

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I would very much like to take up the suggestion from Selwyn et al. (2020, p.105) to construct more optimistic stories for the future of education than they had, but don’t know if I can. As I read through the assigned readings, I reviewed each scenario and asked myself two main questions:

  • Would I like to be a student or educator in this speculative situation?
  • How likely do I think that this speculated scenario will be reality?

I unfortunately concluded that the situations I disliked the most also seem most likely to occur in future. For instance, Macgilchrist et al. (2020, p. 77) proposed in their Scenario One, smooth users, competent subjects, that under the guise of helping society, Silicon Valley entrepreneurs and education technology businesses would be highly influential in future education. This corporate influence would result in having key positions to advise at administrative or governmental levels, not a far-fetched idea even in the present.

The concept of the smooth user could be applied to personalized stories crafted by Singh and Maughan. I think stories proposed such as Iona and Kumar, trained to be smooth users, are the most likely future reality if the “tech” in Ed Tech takes the lead.

Weller’s thoughts of Ed Tech’s dystopian turn and the first general theme  concluded from 25 years of Ed Tech came to my thoughts frequently as I reviewed the scenarios and vignettes from the readings.  I could not help but suppose that the common denominator for most of these scenarios was that as Weller said:  “technology has been the dominant force in ed tech, its prevalence in society now means that the educational component needs to come to the fore”. (2020, p.180).

I’m not exactly sure where I’m going with this, but I noticed when reviewing the majority of the scenarios that I was asking: where is the education part of Ed Tech fitting in to the future?

References

Macgilchrist, F., Allert, H., & Bruch, A. (2020). Students and society in the 2020s. Three future ‘histories’ of education and technology. Learning, Media and Technology, 45(1), 76–89. https://doi.org/10.1080/17439884.2019.1656235

Singh, S., Maughan, T. (2014, June 18). The future of ed tech is here and it’s just not evenly distributed. [Blog post]. https://medium.com/futures-exchange/the-future-of-ed-tech-is-here-its-just-not-evenly-distributed-210778a423d7

Selwyn, N., Pangrazio, L., Nemorin, S., & Perrotta, C. (2020). What might the school of 2030 be like? An exercise in social science fiction. Learning, Media and Technology, 45(1), 90–106. https://doi.org/10.1080/17439884.2020.1694944

Weller, M. (2020). 25 Years of Ed Tech. Athabasca University Press. https://doi.org/10.15215/aupress/9781771993050.01

 

One thought on “Activity 6: Role of “Ed” in future Ed Tech”

  1. This is a thoughtful reflection, Shelley. I can see that you are trying to make sense of the futures that were in the readings and are trying to make sense of the role of education in educational technology efforts. I like that you ask the question “Would I like to be a student or educator in this speculative situation?” A productive way forward to ground your desire for optimism, may be to ask the following: What does a future that I would like to be a student/educator in look like? Asking this question might allow you to begin thinking of a future that you’d enjoy finding yourself in. From there, you could ask whether or not current technologies/politics/economics enable or limit such a future from becoming a reality…

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