Digital pedagogy in an age of algorithms: What do we DO about data?
This keynote from #THATCampX frames the problems of the web and societal datafication as problems for higher ed. The second talk in a series focusing on building a #prosocial web via complexity, cooperation, and contribution, the focus is on what we in the academy can DO to resist the technocratic systems encroaching on our institutions and our lives, drawing on the model of the Antigonish Movement and #Antigonish2 for inspiration.
Information organizations, from libraries to schools and
universities to governmental agencies, are increasingly being
displaced by a variety of web-based "tools" as if there are
no political, social, or economic
consequences of doing so.
- Noble (2018)
the platforms &
systems we use
in digital pedagogy
are increasingly less
& more technocratic
Stanford dSchool Liberatory Design Cards
The new Silicon Valley venture philanthropists are seeking
more overtly computational models of education reform…
to design new software systems and
technological fixes for insertion into the
institutions of education.
- Williamson (2017)
Williamson, B. (2017). Educating Silicon Valley: Corporate education reform and the reproduction of the techno-economic revolution. Review of
Education, Pedagogy, and Cultural Studies, 39(3), 265–288. doi:10.1080/10714413.2017.1326274
• Next-gen security &
• AI conversation interface
• Smart campus
• Predictive analytics
• Nudge tech
• Digital credentialling tech
• Hybrid integration
• Career software
• Cross-life cycle CRM
• Wireless presentation technologies
DATA & AI SYSTEMS =
THE NEW COMPANY STORE
Something is rotten in democracy when huge numbers of those
participating in its debates are unaccountable and
untraceable, when we cannot know who or even
what they are…the bots are everywhere now.
ALERT ALERT ALERT ALERT ALERT ALERT ALERT ALERT ALERT ALERT ALERT
We’ve handed over control of our data,
our identities, & our shared
public infrastructures, including democracy.
We are outsourcing
knowledge-making & governance to AI.
WE NEED TO BRING BACK THE WEB.
Or rather, rebuild the participatory web.
A pro-social, pro-societal web.
• NOT anti-technology
• Threatened by the effects of
encroaching industrial systems
• No vote to change their
• Organized “friendly societies”
• Broke machines
• 14 executed in 1813
• When YOU don’t tell your
story, it becomes another story
And we need to understand and USE
the participatory, collective structures
of the system we are IN.
A CRITICAL DIGITAL PEDAGOGY
Nothing will change until WE change – until we
throw off our dependence and
act for ourselves.
- Horton (1997)
COMPLICATED SYSTEMS OF THOUGHT
CANNOT SOLVE COMPLEX PROBLEMS
While machine intelligence
is rapidly outstripping human performance in
many disciplines, it is not the only way of thinking,
and it is in many fields catastrophically destructive.
- Bridle (2018)
WE NEED PEDAGOGIES –
& PRACTICES – THAT FOREGROUND COMPLEXITY
• no single right answer• system in constant flux• patterns emerge over
How might technoscience be appropriated and
reimagined for more liberatory ends? How, in short, can
we design our sociotechnical systems differently?
- Benjamin (2018)
“If you want to travel fast, travel alone.
If you want to travel far, travel together.”
- probably NOT actually a proverb
THE WEB IS A COMPLEX SYSTEM OF
COLLABORATION & COOPERATION.
Collaboration is a coordinated, synchronous activity that is the
result of an ongoing effort to construct and maintain a shared
idea of a problem.
Cooperation divides labor among participants, so
each unit is responsible for solving a
portion of the problem.
OUR PROBLEM? WE’VE MADE OURSELVES
EXTRAS IN OUR SYSTEMS.
WE CANNOT FIX THE WEB WITHOUT
Any strategy other than mindful, thoughtful cooperation is a
form of disengagement: a retreat that cannot hold. We
cannot reject technology any more than we can ultimately
and utterly reject our neighbours in society & the world; we
are all entangled.
- Bridle (2018)
The main trouble with cyborgs,
of course, is that they are the
illegitimate offspring of
militarism and patriarchal
capitalism, not to mention state
socialism. But illegitimate
offspring are often exceedingly
unfaithful to their origins.
- Haraway (1991)
So my cyborg myth is
boundaries, potent fusions,
and dangerous possibilities
which progressive people
might explore as one part
of needed political work…
The cyborg incarnation is
outside salvation history.
RESISTANCE AS PRESENCE & PARTICIPATION
The classroom, with all its
limitations, remains a
location of possibility. We
have the opportunity to
labor for freedom…even
as we collectively imagine
ways to move beyond
boundaries, to transgress.
This is education as the
practice of freedom.
– hooks (1994)
SO. NEXT STEPS FOR #ANTIGONISH2?
• educators’ data literacies research
• #ProsocialWeb (at #OER19 this week)
WE CAN DO BETTER. TOGETHER.
WE GET TO WORK TOWARDS BETTER SYSTEMS.