The Great Ed. Tech. Debate: An Educators Responsibility – Social Justice and Anti-Oppression through a Technological Lens

It is hard to believe that this week was our very last Ed. Tech. Debate! It is crazy how fast our semester is flying by. With the being said Jesse and Daniel embarked on our last debate, “Educators have a responsibility to use technology and social media to promote social justice and fight oppression: Agree or disagree?”. Jesse took the pro side meanwhile Daniel represented the con side. Prior to the debate here was our classes vote:

Pro:

Jesse shared the following main points within his video and required readings in agreement with this weeks debate:

  1. Staying Neutral is Problematic:
    • In his video, Jesse suggests that remaining neutral ignores the fear interests and concerns of students as teaching is politically driven. This article, provided by Jesse, further examines this concept and identifies that by ignoring issues or try to remain neutral that we instead ignore our students’ needs for guidance. During the debate, Jesse also suggested that choosing to stay quite reinforces the status quo.
    • Jesse also talks about how trying to stay neutral becomes damaging towards students as it is almost impossible to remain objective. Additionally, it becomes so important to watch and address misconceptions about isms for example (Racism, ableism, etc.).
  2. Risks of staying quite:
    • Remaining quite online does not model digital citizenship for students. Jesse also shared this article that explains some of the ways in which educators can model digital citizenship in the classroom. For example by discussing digital etiquette and examining with students what is or is not okay to do online.
    • Fake new is related to politics and ignoring it completely leaves misinformed news to reign free. It is important to talk about fake news and for students to learn how to identify fake news.
    • Jesse also brought up the concept of silence as complicity in that remaining silent is agreeing with a particular statement or standpoint. Jesse suggests the best way to not stay silent is to engage.
  3. Using tech. more effectively:
    1. During this point, Jesse recommended doing the following: modeling digital citizenship and digital literacy for your students, speaking up about what you think is important via social media or during a class discussion. In order to do this, Jesse also pointed out that it is important educators know how to use tech effectively.

Con:

Daniel  shared the following in his video and required readings in agreement with this weeks debate about technology:

  • The educational system is political:
    • The educational system is very political in many senses. One of which where religion is mixed in. In an article Daniel shared, it examines how for some teaching positions teachers are expected to conform to certain schools religious beliefs or risk expulsion.
  • Students are easily influenced:
    • During Daniel’s debate, he argued that teachers are often seen as a keeper of knowledge and that they are ‘always right’. As a result of this teachers have a strong influence of their students. Daniel uses the example of this protest in this article as an example. Whether intentional or not teachers must consider how their views are being expressed as their perspective has the power to sway students. In his video, Daniel describes this concept as the ‘brainwashing of students’. It is important to remember to ensure students are provided facts so that students have the opportunity to think for themselves
  • Differences of Opinion:
    • Throughout his debate, Daniel examines how teachers are often placed under scrutiny. This may become an issue in the classroom if something the teacher has differing political views/perspectives on social justice then parents.
    • During his final statement, Daniel mentioned how at the end of the day that teachers need jobs. He then went on to state that if teachers were to post particular political views or share perspectives on social justice issues via social media that depending on the community there could be potential backlash for the teacher.

Conclusion:

This was an interesting concluding debate as in each debate we have had in class there are multiple perspectives to consider. As always we concluded our debate with our post-debate vote and our results were 84.2% agreed and 15.8% disagreed. As in any debate I have a difficult time choosing a ‘side’ as I see various perspectives of each side. With this debate, I would personally say that educators have the responsibility to educate their students to promote social justice and fight oppression using technology in the classroom; however, I think that how educators choose to share, or not share, their beliefs personally through technology should be respected.

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2 thoughts on “The Great Ed. Tech. Debate: An Educators Responsibility – Social Justice and Anti-Oppression through a Technological Lens

  1. Hey Kaytlyn!
    I can’t believe that this was our final debate! Where has the time gone!?
    You’ve done a really nice job with this post! I think that you and I share a sense of indecisiveness when it comes to these debates because I also cannot think of many debates in which I 100% agreed with one side. I think this just goes to show how complex the topic of EdTech is! I too believe that we as educators need to use our voices, but we also need to do so in a responsible way. I think that this applies to most things EdTech related, as I took this stance on many of the topics. For example, the debates on cellphones in the classroom and social media use by children were two of which I also stated that we should be using these platforms and tools, but how we use them must be a major consideration as well!
    Thank you for sharing your thoughts throughout the semester and really engaging in all the diverse conversations!
    Lauren

    Like

  2. Hey Kaytlyn, my semester flew by so I can only imagine how it disappeared for you being that it is the last chapter of your education degree. You brought interesting thoughts and perspectives to all of our debates throughout the semester and I greatly appreciate you sharing from your internship experiences being that I am only a second year and still have lots to learn. As Lauren stated, Ed-tech is a complex topic but I do believe all educators are responsible for keeping with the times and advocating for social justice. How this should be done is a whole other question that I believe allows for more variation. Congratulations on the completion of your education degree, you should be so very proud of yourself! All the best in your future,
    Kendall

    Like

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