Let’s Get Critical: The Importance of a Critical and Reflective Approach to Digital Technology Adoption

Session Description

The global pivot to online learning instigated by the COVID-19 pandemic caused educational institutions of all types to switch to the use of digital technologies for the continuation of learning. This was an emergency situation and teachers and educational leaders did well to adapt to the new reality.

For many of us who have been working in the field for a long time this might be seen as a vindication of our belief in the efficacy of online education and the use of digital tools, however we do still have reason to pause for thought.

Often decision making was necessarily rushed.  Vendors, governments, think tanks and global NGO’s were quick to seize this opportunity to promote their own specific agendas and ideologies. Questions of data protection, privacy and surveillance were at best secondary and often completely absent from decision-making processes.

This presentation calls upon educators and those working in education to critically reflect on their choices and decisions at this time of rapid change, decisions made now may have long reaching implications. A “critical lens” does not stand against technology, seeking to resist and break the tools in some action reminiscent of a Luddite movement, rather it seeks to ask basic yet vital questions about what it is we are seeking to achieve by the act of education and schooling. At a fundamental level it is asking questions about the purpose of education and what we mean by learning.


Mark Curcher
Tampere University of Applied Sciences
Tampere, Finland

Senior Lecturer and Program Director: MBA Educational Leadership.
Research Group: Critical Applied Research of Digitalization in Education.
Tampere University of Applied Sciences. Finland.
Over thirty years experience as an educator in a range of countries and contexts.

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