Emily Columpsi

"The art of teaching is the art of assisting discovery" -Mark Van Doren

Technology, Social Justice and Anti-Oppressive Education

We live in a world that is constantly changing.  As a result, technology is evolving into a new digital age which ultimately affects schools, curriculum, teachers and students. As well, this change creates a cycle as it also affects how students are interacting, communicating and learning. However, can this or does this contribute to oppressive or anti-oppressive education?

Some people see technology as being hinderances to learning and interaction since it has the potential to interfere with the formation of people skills. On the other hand, some educators promote technology within their classrooms as it can create a more inclusive environment and make things possible for students rather than impossible. However, this needs to be done properly. I see technology as a tool to include all students within a classroom. For instance, those who have certain qualities that limit their abilities to communicate or those students who are shy, introverted and are intimidated to speak within the classroom can be included through the implementation of technology. Those students who are afraid to speak out loud may find comfort in an online space. This was exemplified in the technology that was used in the lecture, as students could anonymously state their opinions on the google doc without being disregarded for their statements.

Technology enables us to connect and collaborate with many people around the world, and through this collaboration, or online space, we have access to unlimited knowledge about varying subjects, people, and events. For one thing, teachers can take this knowledge and encourage students to challenge it which can contribute to the elimination of barriers and stereotypes , as well as create in-depth discussions. Furthermore, being knowledgeable and aware about the things that are occurring in society and the world make it possible for students to break these assumptions.

With technology comes responsibility. It is important that students learn how to use technology safely and responsibly as it can be used as a tool to ultimately oppress other students. Also, teachers need to teach their students how to accurately find information and examine it as either valid or invalid. In the end, I believe technology should be used in the classroom because 1) as our society changes so does what and how we learn, 2) it has the potential to include all students and make things possible, 3) students can collaborate and make connections, 4) students can challenge the knowledge that is provided, and 5) it can encourage and create a socially-just classroom where everyones opinions can be heard. However, for this to be effective, technology needs to be used appropriately.

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