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Education technology - a feminist space?

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Talk given at Alt-C19

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Education technology - a feminist space?

  1. 1. Image by Gerd Altmann on Pixabay Education technology: a feminist space? ALT-C | Sept 2019 | ‘critical frameworks’ theme Helen Beetham @helenbeetham
  2. 2. Is education technology a feminist space? What is your immediate response or feeling?
 #femedtech
  3. 3. Reflection: from “women in edtech” to #femedtech “…a professional space that is full of brilliant, kick-ass, women- identified and supportive women…” “…for social justice and critical approaches to technology in education…”
  4. 4. Reflection: from early 2016 to Alt-C 2019 #MeToo
  5. 5. Reflection: from early 2016 to Alt-C 2019 “a third of people [42% of men] believe that feminism is to blame for making some men feel marginalised and demonised”
  6. 6. What does this have to do with ed tech? What are the concepts and theoretical frames of reference that can support further critical research and reflection, and inform more critically grounded digital education practices going forward?
  7. 7. What does this have to do with ed tech? What are the concepts and theoretical frames of reference that can support further critical research and reflection, and inform more critically grounded digital education practices going forward? Can feminism provide critical resources to support digital education in theory and in practice? What are they?
  8. 8. What people talk about as #femedtech #femedtech tweets from 01/09/2018 to 31/08/2019
  9. 9. Louise Drumm, Frances Bell and Lou Mycroft (OER19 presentation) What people talk about as #femedtech
  10. 10. bit.ly/femedtechmap
  11. 11. feminist issues in ed tech
  12. 12. Equal opportunities in work Women are: 12% of AI researchers 6% of software developers 13 times less likely to file ICT-related patents
 (UNESCO, June 2019) Women: - lead 17% of THE top 200 global universities - are 25% of the professoriate (92% white) - work 95 days / year unpaid in UK education - are 50% more likely to be on casual contracts (EU) - as are non-white academics - are 27% of all researchers (G20) Martin Hawksey/ALT (2019)
  13. 13. Equal opportunities in work “Given the many opportunities that technology makes available for civic participation, networking or improving one’s productivity at work, the unequal distribution of material, cultural and cognitive resources to tap into these opportunities may perpetuate and even exacerbate existing status differences”
 (Source: OECD 2018)‘‘Access for women is not always accompanied by changes in law, policy, or men’s and women’s consciousness or practices;
 therefore, access does not de facto lead to empowerment.” 
 (Bailur et al. 2018: special journal issue on Gender, Mobile and the Mobile Internet) Women’s access to mobile technology is 85% that of men 1.7 billion women are unconnected
 most are in the global South
  14. 14. 23% of women and 1 in 3 young women have experienced abuse online (Ipsos Mori/Amnesty Int) We are seeing young women and teenage girls experiencing online harassment as a normal part of their existence online. Girls who dare to express opinions about politics or current events often experience a very swift, misogynistic backlash.
 Laura Bates, Everyday Sexism
  15. 15. feminist resources for ed tech
  16. 16. Racism and sexism are part of the language and architecture of technology… organisations from libraries to schools and, universities to government agencies are relying on or being displaced by web-based tools as though there were no social, political or economic consequences. 
 Safia Umoja Noble (2019)
 Algorithms of Bias “we are required to classify the world on the premise that the standard or normal human being is a male one and when there is but one standard, then those who are not of it are allocated to a category of deviation” Dale Spender (1980)
 Man Made Language The male experience, the male perspective, has come to be seen as universal, while the female experience - that of half the global population, after all - is seen as, well, niche.
 Caroline Crialdo Perez (2018)
 Invisible Women: Data bias in a world designed for men Algorithmic bias
  17. 17. “Cinematic codes create a gaze, a world, and an object, thereby producing an illusion cut to the measure of [male] desire. It is these cinematic codes and their relationship to formative external structures that must be broken down”
 Laura Mulvey, ‘The Male Gaze’ (1975) “All [facial recognition software] performed substantially better on male faces than female faces… For darker-skinned women, the errors soared to 35%”
 “‘The Coded Gaze’ is what I call the embedded views that are propagated by those who have the power to code systems”
 Joy Buolamwini, Algorithmic Justice League (2016) Algorithmic bias
  18. 18. Algorithmic Justice League Safe Face Pledge
  19. 19. Three issues form the context of my thinking about [ ] pedagogy: the clarification of the source and use of power within the classroom, the development of a methodology for teaching writing skills, and the need for instructors to struggle alongside their students for a better university. 
 “A classroom characterised as people connected in a net of people who care about each other’s learning… an important place to connect to our roots, our history, to envision the future. The web of interrelationships in the classroom is seen to stretch to the local, regional and global communities.” 
 Feminist pedagogies
  20. 20. Three issues form the context of my thinking about Black feminist pedagogy: the clarification of the source and use of power within the classroom, the development of a methodology for teaching writing skills, and the need for instructors to struggle alongside their students for a better university. Barbara Omolade (1987) WSQ “A classroom characterised as people connected in a net of people who care about each other’s learning… an important place to connect to our roots, our history, to envision the future. The web of interrelationships in the classroom is seen to stretch to the local, regional and global communities.” Carolyn Shrewsbury (1987) 
 Women’s Studies Quarterly “Publishing student writing has been part of feminist and antiracist pedagogy at least since the 1960s, when teacher-poet-educator-editor- activists… generated a public audience for student writing”
 Danica Savonick (2018) Feminist pedagogies
  21. 21. Mode response on “I am told how my personal data is used”: neutral Free text comments concerning personal data: 20 comments in 16k Critical thinking about ed tech: the stakes are high
  22. 22. Mode response on “I am told how my personal data is used”: neutral Free text comments concerning personal data: 20 comments in 16k Critical thinking about ed tech: the stakes are high If students get a sound education in the history, social effects and psychological biases of technology, they may grow to be adults who use technology rather than be used by it. Neil Poster, in an interview (1996)
  23. 23. How do students develop critical resources?
  24. 24. Is education technology a feminist space? What are your thoughts now?
 #femedtech
  25. 25. Is education technology a feminist space? What are your thoughts now?
 #femedtech The classroom with all its limitations remains a location of possibility. In that field of possibility we have the opportunity to labour for freedom, to demand of ourselves and our comrades, an openness of mind and heart that allows us to face reality even as we collectively imagine ways to move beyond boundaries, to transgress. 
 This is education as the practice of freedom. bell hooks 1994

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