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17 September 2021: Why technology alone can’t transform education

NORRAG is organising a webinar showcasing research and practice on how we can use technology for positive impacts in two different, but complementary aspects of education: first, technology for teaching and learning and second, digital rights and data colonialism. Justin Reich, MIT, and Tel Amiel, University of Brasília, will discuss these issues with an online audience. Register now for the online event on 17 September 2021, 14:30-16:00 Geneva time.

The event will be available with simultaneous translation in English and Portuguese.

First MIT Professor Justin Reich (author of the book Failure to Disrupt: Why Technology Alone Can’t Transform Education) argues that education technology has never sweepingly transformed schools, but there are specific tools and approaches that work well in certain subjects with certain students. He looks back at where technology has made the most positive difference and argues that understanding the barriers to adoption and effective implementation can give us clues to how we can make technology-mediated learning work better in the future. 

Then Professor Tel Amiel, UNESCO Chair in Distance Education coordinator at the University of Brasília, will examine issues related to privacy and data colonialism. He will outline two competing narratives that are mobilised as school systems and higher education institutions increasingly adopt online, cloud-based educational technologies in the effort to include and provide access to students. One narrative emphasizes ‘free’ tools from transnational private businesses. The second promotes ‘open’ educational resources that permit no-cost access, re-use, re-purposing, adaptation and redistribution without the privacy concerns raised by ‘free’ tools. 

The event will take place on the NORRAG Zoom platform from 14:30-16:00. After the presentations by the two speakers, there will be ample time for discussion with the audience.

Download the programme of the event here.

About the speakers:

Justin Reich is a learning scientist interested in learning at scale, practice-based teacher education, and the future of learning in a networked world. His professional work is motivated by a desire to transform the architecture of education away from centralized, hierarchical models of teaching and towards distributed, networked models of learning. He studies, designs, and advocates for learning systems that shift education from something done to learners to something done with learners, from channels of dissemination to webs of sharing. His writings have appeared in Science, The Atlantic, Educational Researcher, the Washington Post, Inside Higher Ed, the Christian Science Monitor, and other publications. Read more

Tel Amiel completed his PhD in Instructional Technology at the University of Georgia. He is currently professor at the School of Education at the University of Brasilia where he coordinates the UNESCO Chair in Distance Education. He was previously coordinator of the UNESCO Chair in Open Education (Unicamp, 2014-2018). He was a Visiting Fellow at the University of Wollongong and Stanford University, and a visiting professor at Utah State University. His interests in the area of open education and educational technology, with particular focus on schooling and teacher professional development. Read more.

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