THE ABSENT BODY: REFLECTION ON THE REMATERIALIZED SCHOOL
University of Cagliari, Italy
The COVID-19 emergency constituted a brutal discontinuity that led to the evaporation of the pedagogical universe of the class that until few months ago, seemed inextricably connected to the co-presence of bodies and the materiality of the classroom.
We refer to a rich corpus of 80 in-depth interviews collected among primary and infant school teachers located in different areas of Sardinia (rural and urban) and different neighboroughs of Naples.
We focus on the transformations relating to the emotional, bodily, social and didactic dimensions of class life, in the transition from face-to-face teaching to that mediated by technology.
The experience of pandemic has showed school actors that digital is not just a repertoire of tools, since it creates a "world" permeated by the immateriality of new information technologies that reconfigure the set of relationships that make up the school world and the relationship between the actors who inhabit it.
This experience was the place and time for a collective and individual learning process, which profoundly and permanently changed the relationship of teachers with education technologies. This collective learning leads to reconfiguring practices and we define as a "situated professional identity", that is, an identity that is defined within the local (material and social) conditions of opportunity.
The re-materialization processes carried out through electronic devices and platforms for teaching, have constituted material-social ensembles that have required a mobilization of the resources available to each in terms of social capital and digital capital in its two forms. Thus, forms of learning took place in which the group of teachers certainly functioned as a real community of practice.
Professional and inter-subjective relationships have in fact been continuously solicited, through exchanges, advice, communicative and narrative practices that have woven a dense web of discourses (production of meaning) and decision-making, which have had an impact on practices. All this cultural work has made it possible to reconnect the dilemmas around: "What to do?", "What should be done?" and “what can be done?”. With the practical aspect of how things are done, creating not only shared definitions of the situation but also shared innovative practices. Thus the teachers drew from their professional and personal cultures and nurtured them, precisely functioning as communities of practice.
For children, face-to-face school is the place of "sociality" where bodies, through, affects, emotions, "infections" matter and prevent learning from being reduced to a pure and simple assimilation technique. But school is not for everyone, it is the place for happy socializing. In these cases, the "absence of presence" has opened up new spaces of freedom in which the absence of the class as a social device that constitutes individual school identities, has freed children from the collective gaze and its violence.
Furthermore, the collaboration of the family - previously held at the level of the implicit - has become an essential element for teachers and their work. Where the family has supported the children, distance learning has been successful and where the family has not been able, the school has also failed.
WHATSAPP PARENTS GROUPS AT SCHOOL: POSSIBILITIES OF DIGITAL EMOTIONAL DISCUSSIONS IN ORDER TO FACE CONFLICTS
1Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile. Centro Justicia Educacional. Facultad de Educación; 2Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaiso. Escuela de Pedagogía. Facultad de Educación y Filosofía
Traditionally, studies about the use of communicational technologies in education (chats, Facebook pages, etc) have paid attention to the negative outcomes that the use of these technologies could cause. Therefore, in general, the conclusions of these kinds of studies ends with a list of recommendations on how to avoid conflicts at the moment of its use. In this presentation, we question this approach, showing how emotional discussions between parents of two Chilean schools (public and private) could become an opportunity for sincering positions and working based on the different understandings and feelings about what is different. Data show that these discussions tend to relate to the controversy about the different ways of parenting and educating, in the case of teachers' labour. Avoiding conflicts, as literature recommended, especially those related to the “different” ways of being a parent or a teacher, without facing them, has shown in Chile, not be a positive track in order to overcome inequalities and educational justice at schools. We conclude that revealing and work with the school community the differences and the emotional reactions related to the different understanding of the “good way” of being and behave, is first, a realistic way in which school could intervene, because literature recommendation of “controlling” parents conversations is a difficult task, and second is desirable because Whatsapp Parents groups are a digital extension of the school.
DIVERSIFYING INCLUSION AND GROWTH: INSPIRING TECHNOLOGIES FOR ACCESSIBLE LEARNING (DIGITAL) IN TIMES OF COVID-19
University of Birmingham, United Kingdom
The COVID-19 pandemic impact on education has been far reaching, both globally and locally. From widening an already existing digital divide, to rewriting home-school routines and modifying teachers, families and children’s personal and pedagogic relations, the pandemic has engendered a rewriting of educational teaching and learning practices. At the same time, the pandemic represents an opportunity to rethink education and to identify mechanisms to support and enhance accessibility so to further the reach of inclusive policies and practices.
Traditionally, inclusive technologies for disabled children are intended as instruments that enter an individual’s bodily deficit so as to allow participation to the main curriculum (Hayhoe, 2014). In this sense, inclusive digital technologies are intended as assistive, adaptive and corrective towards a normal modality of teaching and learning, tailored on an individual’s body or ‘life case’. However, the pandemic has accelerated a process of ‘mainstreaming’ digital technologies, making them the norm rather than requirements for a minority of pupils that need to be included in regular education (Williamson et alii, 2020.).
Through engaging with Foucault’s definition of technologies (1978/1998), intended ‘as methods for governing human beings’ (Behrent, 2013, 55), and Illich’s (1974) ‘tools for conviviality’, the paper explores alternative ways of deploying technologies that eschews the hegemonic narrative that describes the ‘digital era’ as the natural consequence, and becoming, of education (and social) and the deficit, assistive nature of technologies for disabled chidren. By drawing upon community, parents, children, and teachers’ expertise and experience, Digital Network Ethnography is used as an analytical digitally situated and material set of ethnographic methods (Ball and Junemann 2012; Landri, 2013), to investigate new local inclusive modalities of doing teaching and learning, new subjectivities, and aggregations questioning the Global North epistemic tradition in shaping current understandings of inclusion and possible post-pandemic futures.
The study presents preliminary findings from the DIGITAL in the time of Coronavirus project, focusing in particular on ‘disadvantaged’ and disabled children in the Global North and Global South. It aims to contribute to rethink current understanding of inclusion by visualising the intersection of global policies with local solutions through illustrating effective inclusive responses that enact accessibility through both digital and non-digital technological solutions, respecting contextual resources, local expertise and diversity of bodies.
Ball, S. J.; Junemann, C. (2012). Networks, new governance and education. Bristol: Polity Press.
Behrent, M. C. (2013). Foucault and Technology, History and Technology, 29(1), 54-104.
Foucault, M. (1978/1998). The History of Sexuality I. An Introduction. London: Penguin Books.
Hayhoe, S. (2014). The need for inclusive accessible technologies for students with disabilities and learning difficulties. In: Burke, L., (ed.) Learning in a Digitalized Age: Plugged in, Turned on, Totally Engaged?. John Catt Educational Publishing, Melton. 257-274.
Illich, I. (1973). Tools for Conviviality. London, New York: Marion Boyas.
Landri, P. (2013) Mobilising ethnographers investigating technologised learning, Ethnography and Education, 8:2, 239-254.
Williamson, B.; Eynon, R.; Potter, J. (2020) Pandemic politics, pedagogies and practices: digital technologies and distance education during the coronavirus emergency, Learning, Media and Technology, 45(2), 107-114.
LEADERSHIP AND CHANGE MANAGEMENT IN THE FACE OF DIGITIZATION CHALLENGES
Universidad Internacional de la Rioja (UNIR), Spain
Faced with the new challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, digital technologies have become a safe solution against the virus. If they increased their role in the field of active methodologies for a few years, today they have become indispensable elements in the field of educational experience. The flexibility of educational technologies has made it possible to promote good practices by improving accessibility to education for children and young people. In fact, if for many years the learning techniques and the form of transmission of what has been learned have not changed substantially, today we are faced with a different situation where the ease of access and the speed in the transfer of information end up generating great changes in the educational context.
For this, schools must be prepared to carry out a process of integration of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT), counting on the most relevant dimensions and aspects when starting an ICT implementation project in the educational center. An important element is that teachers have training that allows them to be skilled in the use of technologies. In addition, it has been reflected on how essential it is to acquire the so-called digital skills in the educational field; and, of course, the suitability of leadership to promote the inclusion of learning methodologies that integrate ICT. Specifically, the directors of the educational centers, who are in charge of the management and governance of the institutions, must be prepared to transform the reality of their centers and incorporate ICTs. The existing leadership in educational centers is one of the fundamental factors for the ICT integration process, aware that the organizational culture of an educational center influences the process of introduction and use of ICT.
This communication analyzes the relevance of the role of the management team and its leadership in the development of this process, taking into account the "e-competent" managers who are characterized mainly by their strong pedagogical, transformational and distributed leadership, in addition to their motivation to develop measures and strategies to promote the integration of ICT. In order to promote competent managers, the characteristics of a committed leadership in the implementation of digital tools will be analyzed, in terms of change management and quality vision. Above all, the focus will be on those aspects of management that are strictly related to ICT.
WHY DO YOU NEED TO SEE ME? A CHRONICLE OF LEARNING IN THE ZOOMROOM
University of Nottingham, UK, United Kingdom
This talk reflects on a year’s experience of teaching academic writing and communication skills to international students at the University of Nottingham’s School of Education. It focuses on 3 key notions: remote versus online education; engagement; and ethics. An example of an ethical consideration in online teaching in the ZoomRoom is the extent to which we are all - teachers and students – comfortable or not with switching on our cameras. I was last teaching in a physical classroom on the morning of Monday, March 23, 2020. That afternoon, a message from our Head of School announced that by the Wednesday, all buildings would be closed until further notice and that we should gather our belongings, request any equipment we might need to work at home, and then vacate the premises. Thus began my baptism of fire into understanding the difference between Emergency Remote Teaching and Online Learning (Hodges, Moore, Lockee, Trust, & Bond, 2020). My online education journey led to the completion of two free online courses with the Open University, UK: The Online Educator and Building confidence in using online learning forums (Griffin & Roy, 2019). Unlike the many last-minute training events, workshops, and SIGs (Special Interest Groups) that were gradually becoming available on how to deploy apps and break-out rooms to encourage the highly contested notion of student ‘engagement’ (Trowler, 2015), the Open University courses focused on something entirely different: the ethics of learner care, respect, motivation, and inclusion. The focus was on accessibility rather than engagement; on identity rather than attendance; and on ethics rather than proctoring (e.g., https://news.elearninginside.com/proctoring-online-exams-or-tests-is-essential/). I would like to reflect on what this difference in focus might mean for how, what, and who we value in education, and in higher education, specifically.
Griffin, L., & Roy, J. (2019). A great resource that should be utilised more, but also a place of anxiety: student perspectives on using an online discussion forum. Open Learning: The Journal of Open, Distance and e-Learning, 1-16. doi:10.1080/02680513.2019.1644159
Hodges, C., Moore, S., Lockee, B., Trust, T., & Bond, M. (2020). The Difference Between Emergency Remote Teaching and Online Learning.
Trowler, V. (2015). Negotiating Contestations and ‘Chaotic Conceptions’: Engaging ‘Non-Traditional’ Students in Higher Education. Higher Education Quarterly, 69(3), 295-310. doi:https://doi.org/10.1111/hequ.12071