UNESCO’s Qingdao Declaration (2015) states “the remarkable advances in ICT and the rapid expansion of internet connectivity have made today’s world increasingly interconnected, and rendered knowledge and familiarity with ICT essential [for every person]” (Preamble).The Declaration commits signatories to ensuring all children “have access to connected digital devices and a relevant and responsive digital learning environment by 2030, irrespective of their disabilities, social or economic status, or geographic location” (UNESCO, 2015, Preamble). Yet Bates (2015) points out “it would be a mistake to focus solely on the educational characteristics of technologies. There are social, organizational, cost and accessibility issues also to be considered”(6.1). Costs and funding issues significantly impact the adoption of educational technologies in schools. In the U.S., GovTech Navigator (2017) estimated U.S. spending on educational technology would approach $14 billion in the K-12 sector and $12.8 in the higher education sector for 2018. Educational software can be costly—and increasingly those costs are paid in the new currencies of users’ personal information and behavioural data.
Klees (1994) cautions us to understand “Economic perspectives on educational technology are best understood as part of larger social, political, and academic debates” (p. 398). Educational technology choices are driven “as much by context and values and beliefs as by hard scientific evidence or rigorous theory” (Bates, 2015, 6.1). In the light of rising costs, falling budgets, equity issues, accessibility concerns, and the often unconscious bartering of privacy and behavioural information for “free” technology, Prof. Hengstler argues that consideration of Open Source software is a key competency in a critical approach to educational technology implementation.
In this reflective practice session, Hengstler will discuss her attempt to implement Open Source technologies with her pre-service teacher education students and the challenges as she discerned them. In particular, Hengstler found aspects of Open Source user interface (UI) design and usability seemed problematic for students when juxtaposed with their access to commercially available or commercially developed tools. This aligns with recent findings that ‘ease of use’ is the most important factor identified by teachers in purchasing K-12 materials (MDR, 2017). Join us to discover what happened when a professor with a critical approach to teaching educational technology—decided to teach a pre-service teacher education course using Open Source software. At the conclusion of the session, participants are invited to share their thoughts on the practice and suggest ideas for its potential evolution.
15 min presentation + 5 minutes Q/A and/or discussion (Happy to have 10 more minutes if that’s at all possible)
□Bates, W. (2015). 6.1 Choosing technologies for teaching and learning: The challenge. In W. Bates, Scenario A: A university professor addresses change.. BC Campus. Retrieved from https://opentextbc.ca/teachinginadigitalage/chapter/section-8-2-chossing-technologies-for-teaching-and-learning-the-challenge/
□GovTech Navigator. (2017). Estimated 2018 educational IT spend: K-12 vs. higher ed. Retrieved from http://www.govtech.com/education/navigator/numbers/2017-education-it-spend-k-12-vs-higher-ed_70.html
□Klees, S.J. (1994 ) Economics of educational technology. In M. Carnoy (Ed.), International Encyclopedia of Economics of Education. (pp.398-406 ).Oxford: Pergamon. Retrieved from http://www.c3l.uni-oldenburg.de/cde/Library%20OMDE625/KLEES.DOC
□MDR. (2017). Marketing trends seminar: The state of the K-12 market. Retrieved from https://www.slideshare.net/MDRMarketing/marketing-trends-seminar-the-state-of-the-k12-market
□UNESCO. (2015). Qingdao Declaration: Seize digital opportunities, lead education transformation. Retrieved from http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0023/002333/233352m.pdf