M. Tanti

Australian Catholic University (AUSTRALIA)
A nation’s prosperity as a global competitor and its economic future has permeated technology education discourses in the last decade; in higher education, secondary and primary schools. In Australia, the national vision for information and communication technology (ICT) in education demonstrates that the economic role of schools and universities has been elevated to levels of pre-eminence in education.

As a result, impelled by the demand to increase Australia’s strength in the current global economy, the educational reform has focused heavily on the ‘here and now’: hastily equipping students with hardware and software, installing broadband connections, the technological up-skilling of students and teachers, focusing on raising performance levels and releasing school league tables based on quantitative student results. These are all reflective of short-term measures that are unlikely to adequately prepare students for a twenty-first century world of uncertainty, complexity and technological innovation. Here, value, or an internationally competitive education system, is based on the acquisition of hardware and a view that technology is an end in itself. This type of access to technology is cultivating a culture that Orr (2002) characterises as Fast knowledge.

In this presentation, I will present a vision for ICT-rich education through different lenses and a different set of ideas – ideas associated with Slow – slow food, slow cities and slow design. I will share the findings of a broader study into the development of a Slow ontological and pedagogical approach to technology-rich education. The new theoretical framework of Slow comprises four convergent themes: state of mind, time, process and connectedness. These themes will be offered through interdisciplinary, ICT-rich case studies that highlight the potential of Slow to re-imagine the way we think about education.

The goal of this presentation is to highlight the potential of Slow to reconceptualise technology-rich education to ensure we promote the aims of education, which is to encourage an attitude of caring and participation towards each other and the world in which we live, for the long term.

[1] Orr, D. W. (2002). The nature of design: ecology, culture, and human intention. Oxford University Press.