EdTech futures and educational justice

Authors: Dan Cohen*, Queen's University
Topics: Economic Geography
Keywords: geographies of education, EdTech, justice, finance
Session Type: Virtual Lightning Paper
Day: 4/10/2021
Start / End Time: 8:00 AM / 9:15 AM
Room: Virtual 47
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


As the global economy shuddered under the weight of the COVID-19 pandemic, asset-managers, pension funds, and other institutional investors began to hone in on educational technologies (or EdTech) as a potential money-maker. In doing so, they accelerated an existing trend of stripping school-based education down to a vocationalist and placeless endeavor in the hopes of unlocking large returns on their investments. In this lightning round paper, I will describe the spatial visions embedded in EdTech projects and their ramifications for educational practices focused on justice. Specifically, I will explore the vital role of space in both profit-seeking educational projects and in the practice of teaching for educational justice. While EdTech and finance-driven projects view the link between schools and communities as a barrier to profit, teachers drawing on place-based pedagogies view these same links as an educational resource. This tension is revealing of the importance of the connections between schools and communities in producing a just educational system.

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