For months, I’ve been trying to connect my wired educator network with ideas from critical pedagogy while looking to traditional academics (specialising in critical pedagogy, social justice and anti-oppression education) to share the key questions that might inform a meaningful assessment of web2.0 tools in relation to social justice, equity and diversity.
Here are a few of the questions, challenges and priorities as I see them.
Among the questions that interest me:
1) Privacy, data-mining and the ethics of teaching in corporate social space
Are corporately datamined and surveilled commercial social networks (like Facebook) the same as community-developed, open source spaces for learning and teaching? What does it mean to use commercial spaces versus community spaces?
2) Open Pedagogy and the need for safe spaces
With the increasing emphasis on openness and transparency online – the open sharing of our work, identities, interests and associations – what are the hidden risks for marginalised, exploited, oppressed or politically active users? How can those who promote Open models and spaces ensure that our privacy rights are both respected and protected? Do youth, kids and at-risk groups face different challenges and consequences for “sharing” than power holders (see danah boyd’s “Just because we can doesn’t mean we should” for further analysis).
3) Personal technology, classism and brand bullying
How could the use of personal tech in the classroom reinforce classism, brand bullying and inequity? How are educators and educational institutions going to avoid reinforcing classist inequity while staying current by allowing “personal” tech? Who pays for the “personal” tech (dataplans, etc)?
4) Assessing equity and diversity in web2.0 social spaces and technologies
What are the primary questions we have to ask when assessing the use of a new technology in relation to anti-oppression and differentiated learning? For example, if we promote the use of a blog have we properly scaffolded the various hidden curriculum pre-requisites that blogging requires (i.e., entitlement to a “voice,” confidence to speak and have an opinion, traditional literacies and communications skills – that might be assumed but not present in all learners, awareness of the social and behavioural codes that mediate online community spaces, etc). Aside from access or ownership of technology, are we using tools that privilege a particular class, cultural bias or cognitive learning style (at the expense of differentiated instruction)?
5) Beyond “ed tech” skills: Equity2.0 as professional development
Aside from “technical” knowledge, what kinds of social justice, equity and diversity *competencies* should 21st Century educators have? How can we facilitate a greater alignment towards equity and social justice pedagogy among the next generation of wired educators – who may be more excited by the media than the social (of social media).
The questions above led me to write a post about the hidden curriculum of 21st Century Literacies but this is only the beginning of an inquiry that I plan to develop in more depth and possibly as a handbook for digital critical pedogogy – assessments and questions for the future.
So now I turn my questions to you – in hopes to find ways to bring critical pedagogy further into the forefront of classroom2.0.
1. What are the KEY questions that you, an educator aligned with critical pedagogy, would apply to any new tool or use of that tool for teaching?
2. What should wired teachers be considering when implementing social and participatory media in their classrooms?
3. Identify 5- 10 forms of diversity present in your classrooms – and how you are currently differentiating your use of web2.0 tools to reflect their identities, interests and unique learning needs.
4. What training or resources are currently available in your school or board that define or support teacher use of social and participatory media? Has your board provided guidelines on the professional, ethical and pedagogical use of social media?
5. What are the key areas of inequity present within your community or school and how has your use of social media contributed to addressing or exploring these issues?