In Module 1, we were asked to consider whether or not technology is culturally neutral. My observations at this early stage suggest it is not. That’s not to say it cannot get there eventually or at least get closer.
Educational technology can get closer by embracing forms of inclusivity and including cultural variables. An article in the Australian Journal of Educational Technology (McLoughan & Oliver, 2000), provides design suggestions that include emphasis on flexibility and authenticity as well as variances for individualized learning goals and assessment tools.
On a more practical level, the Government of Queensland Dept. of Education Productive Pedagogies website provides a Classroom Reflection Manual with several concrete examples to ensure “recognition and value of differences” in learning activities.
The site identifies 5 important considerations that help teachers recognize and value difference.
- Cultural Knowledge
- Group Identity
- Active Citizenship
Suggestions include having students decide what conceptualizations are most relevant to them in the context of their identity and surroundings. One example provided involves having students select and choose appropriate clip-art representations for a class Mother’s Day project. While this site is aimed at elementary educators, it appears to have application in secondary, post secondary, and informal adult learning environments.