Presented by Dr. Davin Carr-Chellman.
Technology is a necessary and central feature in the educational landscape. School leaders, teachers, deans, funding agencies, and governments are investing heavily in digital technologies, hoping their history of innovation and progress, efficiency and efficacy will continue to improve the systems and processes of schooling. As Max Weber recognized, though, the power of technology does have certain costs. The troubling flip side of technology’s obdurate success is a profound loss of human agency and meaning. In the rush to capture the power and potential of technology, we have exposed a deep vulnerability: the integrity of human experience is fragile in the face of abstraction and objectification. Technology, as a manifestation of the desire for power through ever greater efficiency, lives and breathes and grows through abstraction and objectification . Drawing on the work of Theodor Adorno, Jacques Ellul, and the sociologist Richard Stivers, this irony of modern life is not an argument to abandon technology, rather it is encouragement to maintain a Jamesian grasp on human experience while still extracting the advantages that technology offers. There are contemporary approaches to technology and learning that can offer a third way, a way around alienation and objectification: approaches to learning through technology that offer the potential to recapture the relational core of learning.
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