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Wednesday, May 13 • 11:35am - 12:05pm
Ethics in Disrupting Educational Pedagogy

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In every aspect of life in the twenty-first century, we are confronted with this notion of disruption. Heralded as an unmitigated good in many quarters, “disruptive innovation” once meant the creation of a new market that overtakes an existing one, but now we use it colloquially to refer to significant change. In education, we are sold tools that “disrupt” plagiarism, classroom management, and grading, and often the promise of change outpaces the conversation about ethics, implementation, and usage. At the same time, many of the innovations that truly have the potential to disrupt education in meaningful ways find themselves co-opted by the neoliberal college/university and its magnetic attraction to the status quo. Too often, the disruption for sale is primarily performative, and tools that promise revolution only reify existing power relationships: a plagiarism detector that mines and resells student data; a classroom management tool that relies on digital surveillance; a grading assistant that teaches an AI how to auto-grade.
    If we really seek to disrupt education – to make it decolonial, democratic, accessible, equitable – we have to unsettle the institution as a whole. This presentation uses recent case studies to explore the intersections of resistance and disruption and reflect on how emergent classroom technologies can only meaningfully “disrupt” when partnered with a critical pedagogy that interrogates the ethics, implementation, and usage of these tools; it also offers a toolkit that instructors and those working in instructional support can use to interrogate the practices at their own institutions. Most importantly, it offers a call to action for all educators interested in “disruption” to look critically at their own practice and unsettle their own pedagogies in the quest for disruption and transformation.

avatar for Brenna Clarke Gray

Brenna Clarke Gray

Educational Technologist, TRU Open Learning
Brenna Clarke Gray is an educational technologist by day and a comics scholar by night. She writes on representations of Canada in American comic books and the failings of the Canadian academy in equal measure. You can find her on Twitter: @brennacgray.

Wednesday May 13, 2020 11:35am - 12:05pm
Salon D
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