Technology and Social Justice?


When I was in elementary school, the only thing we needed technology for was learning to type and researching topics.  New technologies over the years have opened up countless opportunities to engage learners and teach in different ways.  I believe that the changed nature of learning and the rise of technology is related to social justice anti oppressive education because we can connect to a larger audience to receive guidance and feedback.  Teachers use internet sites like Pinterest to get teaching ideas and they could also reach out to a community of educators through forums and Twitter.  Educators can connect with millions of people all over the world to create a support group or to have a discussion about ideas.  Collaboration is a big thing for education and the fact that you can post and access teaching materials is pretty great.  The internet offers another way to seek out help and support for your teaching goals towards social justice and anti-oppressive education.

We can use different technology tools to create digital stories with anti-oppressive content.  In my previous post about treaty education, Claire’s students used apps like Puppet Pals to portray their versions of the signing of Treaty #4.  The students also created songs and podcasts, which I assume was done by Garageband.  These projects offer a more engaging and fun way to learn about content in the classroom.  This also makes learning more memorable and we as educators should strive to make anti-oppressive content relevant and fresh in students’ minds.  Using the internet and other technology tools allows students and teachers to have their content seen and commented on by a much larger community.  These anti-oppressive ideas and projects will keep educators and others around the world aware and inspired to do the same in their own classrooms or households.

How do you think technology and new modes of learning are related to social justice and anti-oppressive education?


Treaty Education

Claire Kruger’s presentation on treaty education was very interesting and inspiring. I think the thing that popped out at me right away was when she said, “we signed a treaty to share the land. Keyword: share”. Through technology, the students shared their ideas. The ways that these students expressed their learning of this concept was amazing and creative. It goes to show how historical content can be fun for students with the right tools. Another thing I loved was the fact that this program highlighted the fact that we are all treaty people and you don’t need a status card to be a treaty person. This creates a space of equality because this is a commonality among all students in the classroom.

The integration of technology was also very exciting for me. I learned a lot about educational technology last year in ECMP 355, but seeing some of these apps and technology tools come to life with young children is absolutely amazing. I’ve also had a strong interest in integrating technology into my future classroom, so these ideas are helpful!

How have you integrated treaty education and technology into your classrooms?

Copyright and Its Limitations on Creativity

We were asked to watch “RIP: A Remix Manifesto” for our ECMP 355 class for this week.  The documentary is all about the history of copyright infringement and how remixing music is difficult to work around these laws.  I thought this was quite interesting to watch as a future teacher because teachers are so open to share their original ideas for lesson plans and activities to the open public.  A big part of the job is exchanging ideas and collaborating with coworkers and friends!  What if we all refused to let anybody use our teaching ideas for their own classrooms?  These exchanges encourage healthy relationships and allow room to learn and grow!

A big idea in this documentary was the idea of Intellectual Property, which is defined as:  “Law. property that results from original creative thought, as patents, copyright material, and trademarks”

We are all lead to believe that when we download music illegally or modify music, it is the artists we are directly harming and fighting against.  This may be true in some circumstances, but a lot of the time, the companies that artists have sold the publishing rights to are the ones that have a problem with people meddling with “intellectual property”.  This is not the original creative thought of the whole entire label, so why is it deemed the publisher’s “intellectual property”?  This confuses me because the individuals who are creating and performing these songs are not directly affected and don’t vocalize their concerns for copyright most of the time.  A whole array of people are recognized, rather than individual people.  Some artists encouraged their music to be downloaded free and for people to remix their music.  Radiohead gave the public the freedom to pay as much or as little as they wanted, which challenged the ways of record labels.  Artists are not even affected by the copyright laws because all the money from copyright infringement goes to the label.

I feel like these very strict laws put a barrier between ourselves and our creativity.  Remixing music is a form of expression and art.  If anything, the remixer is paying homage to the artist by creating new renditions of their music.  The final product of remixes do not sound the same and are noticeably different, so why is it such a big deal?  A big thing with music and remixing is sharing!  We share our ideas to the world in hope that someone will see/hear our projects and share their own experiences.  We want to learn new things from others’ work and to put our own twist on what we see.  From an educational standpoint, our ideas would be limited and not creative without the input of others and the sharing that goes on between educators.  I believe that any form of expression is great and should be celebrated.  Remixing music is a way to pursue a person’s passion for music and the passion to create new things out of the past.

What do you think of copyright laws in regard to remixing?  Do you think copyright laws limit our creativity?