Recently I was invited to take part in a seminar on ‘Technology and Education: opportunities and challenges for equality’ organised by the Technology Enhanced Learning Team at the University of Sussex. Here is what the seminar was about:
Technology has always played a significant role in education – whether it was the fountain pen and printing press of the past or today’s mobile devices, online study and immersive technologies. It cannot be assumed, however, that technologies will offer equal opportunities to all or that there is equality in all the spaces where technology and education meet and interact. As new technologies are increasingly adopted within educational contexts, now is a great time to think about the challenges and opportunities for equality.
For this TEL seminar we are thrilled to welcome Dr. Maren Deepwell (Chief Executive Officer of the Association for Learning Technologies) and our own Mary Krell (Senior Lecturer in Media & Film Studies) to speak about the opportunities and challenges they see for equality in the ways that technology and education come together.
Dr. Tamsin Hinton-Smith (Senior Lecturer In Higher Education) will chair the seminar and join Maren and Mary for a panel discussion of the ideas raised and audience questions.
The day was really interesting and you can watch the videos from the seminar, access the slides and find out more about the speakers and chair on the university website.
My contribution focused on gender equality but our conversation was much wider, focused more holistically on all types of inclusion and diversity, what progress we have made and how much there is still left to do.
I was really inspired by the creative, thoughtful and visionary Mary Krell, whose thoughts on the limitations of technology as well as its potential resonated with me and my own thinking around how technology isn’t always the best way to engage, enable or empower learners.
Similarly, Tamsin Hinton-Smith spoke eloquently and passionately about teaching training and development with a focus on equality and from a feminist perspective, providing insight into what the university is already doing and where further work may be done.
The TEL Team also has a podcast (definitely recommended listening) and I enjoyed taking part in recording a session, in particular as some of their regular questions really made me think: what’s your favourite keyboard shortcut (my answer here was CTRL + F and also CTRL+/ CTRL- to zoom in/out) and what app can’t you live without (for me, sadly, that would be text messages).