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What are the opportunities and the challenges offered by emerging modes of technologically-inflected communication and decision-making? What is our role and responsibility as educators and as developers of research and teaching digital infrastructures? What do students need in the 21st century? As education institutions and providers struggle to respond to the first two questions, are we abrogating our responsibility to the last?
In this talk, Matt Ratto will describe some of the opportunities and the challenges we currently face, laying out a model of action for how to potentially address the questions raised above. Core to his thinking are two related points; first that we must help students develop a greater sense of how the informational world and its attendant infrastructures helps shape how and what we think, and second, that a good way to do this is to give students the space to engage in reflexive acts of technological production – what Matt has termed ‘critical making.’ He will provide concrete examples from both his research and his teaching that demonstrate the value and importance of reflexive, hands-on work with digital technologies in helping students develop the critical digital literacy skills they need to function in today’s society.
Matt Ratto is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Information at the University of Toronto and directs the Semaphore Research cluster on Inclusive Design, Mobile and Pervasive Computing and, as part of Semaphore, the Critical Making lab.