Technology and Public Education

Why freemium software has no place in our classrooms

Published in The Conversation, June 13, 2022

“Educational settings should focus on equity, especially when it comes to decisions related to the use of technology for teaching and learning.

In educational settings, software-whether for teaching and learning or for parent-teacher communication- should not have tiered offerings where users who have the financial means to pay are privy to a better version of the software with additonal feature and tools.”  Lucas Johnson 

Lucas Johnson is a PHD student in the Faculty of Education at Lakehead University and an Education Technologies Facilitator.  His research is focused on examining the decisions related to education technology selection and implementation, including the reasons tools end up being used in classrooms.  

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 COVID-19 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.