Technology and Anti-Oppressive Education

How might the changing nature of learning and the increased prevalence of technology be related to social justice and anti-oppressive education?  What is made possible/impossible by these tools and this type of learning?

Here are a few of my thoughts on this question:

According to Kumashiro, teaching for social justice means preparing students to succeed in whatever context they find themselves in.  Technological skills are becoming increasingly important in schools, universities, and the workplace, which means our students will need these skills and if we are teaching for social justice, we must provide them with the opportunity to develop those skills.

What do technological tools and learning based on collaboration make possible?

–      Opportunities to connect with a variety of role models for students

–      Learning that involves ending up with knowledge that could not have been predicted, which is part of Kumashiro’s model for Learning in Discomforting Ways

–      Students may view things on the Internet that reinforce an oppressive status quo  (This is why we must teach students to think independently, critically, and creatively about whatever story is being taught.)

What do technological tools and learning based on collaboration make impossible or difficult?

–      Having students learn about what they resist learning.  (Since learning with technology is interest driven, students might continue to learn what they desire but never learn what they resist learning or think about why they resist learning that.)

–      May disadvantage certain students

  • Students who don’t have access to smartphones, iPads, or computers at home
  • Students who are uncomfortable with sharing online or whose parents aren’t comfortable with this

How can we, as teachers, work against the disadvantage that using these tools and learning in this way may cause?

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