I recall something that Julie Machnaik (@jmachnaik) said way back when in ECS 100.
“You don’t need a class on technology because children innately know how to use these devices when they come to school.”
Technology is a big, overarching theme in education, and I think this is what makes it so easy to tie into each and every subject. Students don’t need computer classes because they should be learning how to use computers in Math, English, Social Studies, Science, Art, etc., etc. The same principle applies for social justice and anti-oppressive education: it can be integrated into all subject areas. So what happens when you bring the two together?
Technology provides endless opportunities for creativity. A little imagination and innovation is all you need and – voilà! You have a brand new Science lesson that teaches students to use stop motion animation diagrams in order to explain how gay/lesbian couples can use artificial insemination to have children. Or maybe a YouTube video for English class that reads a story in both English and Cree. Or perhaps you Skype with an expert about how socioeconomic status directly affects overall wellbeing for Health. In our society today, we can utilize technology as a means of introducing students to these kinds of issues. Technology also provides a more interesting path towards deepening students’ understandings in these areas – and their learning will probably be more permanent if they used an app to create a project rather than writing a paper on a certain topic.
I believe that as the internet becomes the first (and fastest) route we turn to in order to learn new information, teachers need to realize and accept the fact that they are no longer their students’ only lifeline to knowledge. If children can answer a simple query with a quick Google search, it changes the role of the teacher from a bearer of information into a prompter of deeper thinking, a guide for the efficient and safe navigation of the vast wealth of knowledge that the internet holds, and a helping hand to assist their students in learning new avenues with which to explore, display, and critically examine their newly found knowledge.
How do you think technology ties into social justice and anti oppressive education? In what ways do you see technology altering the roles of educators?