Technology and Public Education

Digital Technology and BC Education: Underlying issues revealed by COVID-19   

See pages 10-12.

“Like so many aspects of life COVID-19 has altered, teaching and learning practices in BC’s public schools have dramatically shifted over the past year. Among the many adaptations teachers have made, online instruction has become a key strategy for preserving ‘continuity of learning’ for students both when schools were initially closed in Spring 2020, and in ongoing remote and hybrid arrangements since.

Just prior to the pandemic outbreak, the British Columbia Teachers’ Federation (BCTF) brought together teachers for a one-day think tank on the topic of Education and Technology. The goals of the day included developing a deeper understanding of the impacts of technology on BC’s public education sector. At the time, teachers already expressed concerns about the effects of technology on the datafication of student learning and assessment, the (un)sustainability of teachers’ increasing workloads, and the encroachment of ed tech companies into teaching and learning.

The piece first appeared in the Summer/Fall 2020 issue of Our Schools/Our Selves, which focussed on how COVID19 has presented an opportunity to radically rethink how public schools can be supported to meet society’s needs.”

Anne Hales, Michelle Gautreaux

Michelle Gautreaux holds a PHD in Curriculum Studies and has extensive research experience in the US and in BC.  Her interests include the impact of neoliberal education reforms, critical pedagogies, and social justice issues in education.  Anne Hales has taught in the K-12 public school system and instructed at SFU and is a doctoral candidate at UBC.  Anne’s research interests include teacher mentorship, professional development, mental health, and teacher union engagement.