Relationships before scale: The true Power of EdTech
Junaid Mubeen
223

Junaid,

Thank you for sharing your story, your perspective. Something that I’m wondering about and that had me up tossing and turning a bit is this: How many readers, particularly of my familiar circle of educators, are prepared to read this full essay? Let me explain my reservation.

Male describing EdTech and saving minds — that’s risky ground. I spend plenty of time fretting about edtech narratives which feature a savior mentality — there’s a lot of that out there and we should all be wary. It smacks of paternalism and colonialism. I am fairly confident that I do not agree that education is the business of *saving* minds. I don’t feel a need for my own or my children’s or my students’ minds to be *saved.* Rather, I wish deeply for their minds and my own mind to be stimulated, encouraged, welcomed and given space to thrive. That doesn’t square with any idea of “saving” a mind. That said, when I read on, I find out much more about your journey and unique perspective.

What concerns me is that many will choose not to read on because the judgment has already fallen. We make the categorization (male edtech savior narrative) and move on to the next thing. I am fairly sure that this is not an exaggeration. I know because I had a similar tendency that I had to work through. Reading on affords me the opportunity to learn that there are twists in your story, turns in your thinking which bring us to some very common ground: that teachers are the best technology we will ever have for supporting students. But I had to be willing to travel that far and not dismiss *my* idea of your story within the first couple of paragraphs.

This process of getting past our initial responses and our habitual signals which tell us how to think without actually employing thinking — this is a capacity I fear we may be shrinking through our increased consumption of information without additional attention reserves. If jumping to conclusions were an Olympic discipline, I and some of my colleagues might make it to the semi-finals. Easily.

For this reason, I am so glad that ‘Identity, Education and Power’ is the space you chose to show us your perspective. If I can’t or won’t take the time and energy to understand not only where you are coming from and what is important to you, then I will hardly be in a position to recognize common ground when I see it. I also appreciate the fact that your journey is in progress (as is my own). This is where we are right now and of necessity it will change and adapt and push back towards certain ideas will be a part of that.

So thank you for giving me pause and reason to check my own biases. None of us are immune to skipping to critical without thinking first.

Show your support

Clapping shows how much you appreciated Sherri Spelic’s story.