TiM Seminar: “What Follows for Students and Society in the 2020s? Three Speculative Futures for Education and Technology”
Prof. dr. Felicitas MacGilchrist in conversation with dr. Rianne van Lambalgen
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This session begins with a conversation between Felicitas Macgilchrist and Rianne van Lambalgen about three possible futures for education and technology, especially in light of the current SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. Their conversation will draw on a “social science fiction”, written by Felicitas with Heidrun Allert and Anne Bruch, and set in the year 2040. In 2040, among the most important technologies are data-aggregating technologies such as AI, affective computing, adaptive or predictive software, clouds, and platforms. But technologies never stand alone: they are embedded in indeterminate sociotechnical configurations. The social science fiction offers three alternative socio-technical “histories” of the 2020s. In one, students become (i) ‘smooth users’, improving themselves in the pursuit of frictionless efficiency within a post-democratic frame created by large corporations. In another, they become (ii) ‘digital nomads’, seeking freedom, individualism, and aesthetic joy as solopreneurs exploiting state regulations and algorithmic rules while stepping out of the state and deeply into the capitalist new economy. In a third, (iii) participatory, democratic, ecological humans are embedded in ‘collective agency’ that see institutions as spaces for exploring more equitable ways of living. What impact did the pandemic of 2019/20 have on educational technology? The conversation also reflects on the future research and the political, educational, and technological decisions which would make each of these three fictional future histories more or less likely.
Suggested Reading (open access): https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/17439884.2019.1656235
Felicitas Macgilchrist (Georg-August-University of Göttingen) is Head of the ‘Media|Transformation’ department at the Georg Eckert Institute of International Textbook Studies, Braunschweig, and Professor of Media Research at the University of Goettingen’s Institute of Educational Sciences, Germany. She researches how people try to change schooling through educational technology, and how their design decisions have intended and unintended consequences. Recent articles draw on ethnography, discourse studies and material-semiotic theory to explore the datafication, subjectivation, and inequalities associated with digital media.
Rianne van Lambalgen (Utrecht University) has a background in Cognitive Psychology (MSc), Artificial Intelligence (MSc, PhD) and Higher and Professional Education (MA). She teaches in the core curriculum of Liberal Arts and Sciences, where students learn interdisciplinary research skills. In the bachelor Artificial Intelligence, she is involved in the bachelor theses and the selection procedure of new bachelor students. Her research is aimed at the digital support of learning (interdisciplinary) academic skills. This can be either the effects of blended/online teaching methods on learning academic skills or obtaining insights on student learning using learning analytics.
Session organized with the support of Liberal Arts & Sciences, Utrecht University