NEW COMMUNICATION AND INFORMATION TECHNOLOGIES AND EDUCATION:
HEGEMONY AND RESISTANCE
Technology, globalization, and neoliberal capitalism cannot be separated from the central issues of education in the 21st Century. What is the purpose of education? What is the content of education? What are the pedagogies, tools, and resources? Whose interests are served?
Unless the question of purpose is examined and challenged, the dominant discourse rules by default. That default is generally one of education preparing workers for a globalized economy. The logical assumption that
follows is that students should be integrated into expertise in using the new information and communications technologies that are the tools of the global economy.
In this globalized framework, educational content is decontextualized. The neo-liberal educational vision is one of “competencies,” skills that are not embedded in cultural and social contexts but are independent of context. This is the vision of the corporation that wants to sell tools and resources that fit any context and provide economies of scale where the same digital products have the best return on investment in a global market. It is also the vision of the philanthropies—the Gates Foundation, in particular–that have determined that they know what is needed and everyone had better buy into their vision.
The articles in this issue challenge the neo-liberal assumptions and concepts about education and technology.
Year 6, No. 6, September 2014