An Ed-Tech tragedy?

OEB will host an interview with Mark West about UNESCO’s new and critically-acclaimed book about ed-tech experiences of the COVID-19 pandemic.  The New York Times said the book “challenges views that digital technologies are synonymous with educational equality and progress”. And The Financial Times rightfully called it “the most extensive examination of the global lockdown experience in education.”

The 650-page publication borrows the structure of a theatrical play to document and analyze the impacts and repercussions of the pivot from school-based education to remote distance learning with ed-tech during the COVID-19 pandemic. It explains the hopes and promises ascribed to ed-tech prior to the emergence of COVID-19, documents the realities and ripple effects of large-scale technology deployments in response to massive school closures, and extracts salient lessons from this experience to steer future digital transformations of education in more human-centered directions. You can read the publication here.

During the OEB Spotlight Stage session, David Hollow, the Research Director at the EdTech Hub, will engage Mr. West, the author of the book,  in conversation about the book, asking what lessons we should draw from ed-tech experiences of the pandemic.

The discussion will both unpack and interrogate the book’s premise that the education experiences should be remembered as an ‘ed-tech tragedy’.

Like the UNESCO book itself, the interview will be organised across ‘acts’: 

  • Act 1 will consider the ambition that marked the initial transition from schools to ed-tech as the pandemic took hold.
  • Act 2 will examine he many ways the promises of ed-tech were challenged when technology was deployed globally as a primary solution to maintain education during widespread and prolonged school closures.
  • An Inter-Act will question dominant narratives emerging from the technology-centric experiences of the pandemic period.
  • Act 3 will outline principles and recommendations put forward by UNESCO to guide future efforts to leverage technology for education, while keeping schools and humans at the center of teaching and learning.

The fast-paced exchange will look closely at issues of inclusion, equity, health, surveillance, privatization, control, resilience and environmental sustainability. 

Audience members will be encourage to pose questions and make comments. Whether participants agree or disagree with the UNESCO analysis, all will walk away from the session with new ideas about the legacy of technology-first responses to the challenges of the pandemic. 

Join this lively OEB event to re-see what occurred with education and technology during the pandemic and what it means for the future of teaching, learning and training!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.