I recently gave a seminar at the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities, based on the work I completed there as a Sabbatical Fellow. The talk recording is available below.
Its main focus was – of course – digital education. This is one of the tropes through which ‘futures’ are often filtered in public discussion of where education is headed. However critical research in the field rarely sees it as utopian. My talk explores how the contemporary utopian impulse in scholarship perhaps offers us a way to imagine digital education differently.
It uses Ruth Levitas’s (2013) ‘utopia as method’ as a way to approach the histories of digital education and its utopian possibilities. First, the talk considers the relationship between digital education, lifelong learning and utopia in current national and global political programmes. Second, it discusses utopia as ontology, looking at how critical digital education might help move us from the paradigm of the locked-down ‘data subject’ within a human capital model of education toward emergent and more-than-human ways of understanding what it means to be educated. It then moves on to explore how a future for digital education might be imagined through the themes of ecopedagogy, diversity of knowledge and the end of institutions.
A paper on this work is due to come out in the next few months, in Learning, Media and Technology.