Ed-Tech Within Limits: anticipating educational technology in times of environmental crisis
Selwyn, N. (2021). Ed-Tech Within Limits: anticipating educational technology in times of environmental crisis.
Pre-print version of article to appear in: E-Learning and Digital Media (2021)
ABSTRACT: Despite climate heating and rising ecological instability, environmental issues feature rarely in discussions of educational technology. Most commentators presume the continued unfettered use of digital education resources bolstered by occasional claims that emerging technologies might support the ‘greening’ of school and university provision. In contrast to such business-as-usual complacency, this article anticipates ongoing environmental degradation of the planet as radically up- ending the continued expansion of digital technologies in education. On one hand, depletion of natural resources and energy curtailments might put paid to established ‘abundant’ forms of digital technology use. On the other hand, more frequent climate- related disasters might necessitate emergency forms of education for displaced and unsettled populations. As such, the article argues for a new paradigm of educational technology that is both wholly sustainable and targeted toward displaced and disadvantaged populations. The article considers a number of ways that such an ‘EdTech within Limits’ might be pursued – outlining fundamental shifts in thinking necessary to reorient educational technology along environmentally-concerned lines.