The intention of this workshop was a narrower look at how digital resources are being delivered in technology enhanced learning environments, and how this might contribute to the development of a more democratic society. Or if, rather the opposite, this would originate an even bigger social divide, fostering the exclusion of the segments of society that do not have access to it. Is e-knowledge different from traditional scientific knowledge – and if so, how do science institutions and science communicators react on this digitization of society, especially in formal and informal education? Would this allow addressing even more children and young people with issues of science on higher education, who would not participate in “traditional” setting of science communication in academic premises because of latent barriers? All those questions are related to the delivery of learning resources via ICT, the access to them and if or how this would foster inclusion – or if imagining a better future, trusted to the hands of generations of digital natives, where knowledge has been democratized is just a utopian whitewash.
Triggered by a series of videos and talks about this subject, a broad ranging discussion around several philosophical issues emerged from this starting point - going far beyond issues of education and science communication, but nonetheless being highly relevant: The discourse was mainly driven by the fundamental question if the continuously progressing pervasion of ICT in everyday life is aimed to humanize technology - or to technologize humanity? And in this sense – is technology freeing or enslaving us? This may sound fictive, but is a common issue already – however fraught with tension and ethical questions. Questions of cybernetics and genetics may appear quite a stretch in this context – but they are reality in top-class sports already, fraught with tension and ethical questions. Increasingly, the question will be who can afford to use technology to overcome limitations – and who can’t, and might be excluded from society. Consequently, aspects of enhancement of humanity by technology must be considered by educators as philosophers in the same way, to explore what might happen to the people who can't keep up.
This is the most controversial issue that was discussed in the regard, besides other dangers of technology dominating society: What about disconnection form nature and society in the sense of being more connected, but lonelier then? What about reduction in ability to critically access the information provided by ICT? What about the risk of overloaded information? Is the net a Darwinian tool in the sense?
Eventually, consensus was achieved that ICT in education can facilitate creativity, already by dealing with the replicable administrative side of education and life – which frees up more time for personal interaction for critical assessment of subjects in the classroom and active learning, when the mere facts are delivery at other times and places. Moreover, ICT can even provide even a wider range of experiences, even if they are virtual experiences.
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