Examining the Hidden Curriculum of Ed Tech Track

Led by Danielle Dilkes

This two-part series will provide participants an opportunity to critically examine the implicit values, motivations and biases embedded in digital spaces and educational technologies, how these impact teaching and learning practices, and how digital spaces could be designed differently to reflect alternative orientations to education. 

Examining the Hidden Curriculum of Ed Tech Part 1: Values, Motivations, and Beliefs

July 26, 2023 from 10 – 11:30am EDT, 2-3:30pm GMT, 5-6:30pm Cairo

Session 1 will introduce and examine the concept of the hidden curriculum. We will explore examples of how certain values and beliefs about education are built into both physical and digital spaces and how these impact teaching and learning practices. To start, participants will reflect on their own orientations to education and consider their beliefs about teaching, the role of the instructor, the role of the learner, and the purpose of education. Then, together, participants will share and analyse examples of different learning spaces and discuss the ideologies that are implicit and embedded within them. Some time will be given to reimagine what these spaces might look like if driven by different values, motivations or beliefs. 

Examining the Hidden Curriculum of Ed Tech Part 2: Hostile Architecture

July 27, 2023 from 1 – 2:30pm EDT, 5-6:30pm GMT, 8-9:30pm Cairo

Session 2 will explore the hidden curriculum of ed tech in more detail, specifically examining designs of control, or hostile architectures. Participants will start by considering the concept of hostile architecture from urban design, which are features designed specifically to prevent undesirable behaviour in public spaces. Often, these designs are disguised as stylised or artful designs. We will spend most of the session considering what hostile designs are present in digital spaces, often disguised as convenience mechanisms.. The discussion will include carceral designs, closed systems, surveillance tools and other technologies built around control. Participants will be asked to collaboratively brainstorm examples of hostile architectures in their own teaching and learning contexts. The discussion will conclude with a critical discussion around the concept of control and whether it is or is not always a “hostile” practice. 

Re/storying Pedagogy for More Equitable Futures

August 7, 2023 from 10am-12pm EDT, 2pm-4pm GMT, 5pm-7pm Cairo

Recent events, including the COVID-19 pandemic, advances in AI and other technologies, and social and political disruption, have created mass destabilisation in higher education which has resulted in the development of new practices and approaches to teaching and learning. In this moment, we have a unique opportunity to examine how practices are shaped and the systemic and structural entities that shape them. Using various Critical Storytelling techniques, this session invites anyone involved in teaching and learning to reflect on, critique and rewrite the stories that are shaping the future of education.

Together, participants will create a storied network of the human and non-human factors that influence their teaching and learning. Through this collaborative story weaving, we will examine how identity and pedagogy are complex and sociomaterial, drawing on Donna Haraway’s concept of social practice as a game of Cat’s Cradle, consisting of multiple strands, knots, and tensions (Haraway, 1994). This activity will result in a visual web of influence, layering all participants’ perspectives and experiences into one complex network.

Based on this renewed understanding of educational presents and the factors shaping educational futures, participants will be invited to engage in speculative storytelling, imagining hopeful or cynical futures and reflecting on how the web must change in order to achieve or avoid these futures.

By engaging in both entangled and speculative storytelling, this session will open up new ways of thinking about and practicing education and the visible and invisible influences that impact educational experiences.

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