We’re looking at you, d2l. Learning environments threaten and constrained academic free speech.
EdTech aimed at producing a personalized experience for students undercuts the values of core curricula and education as a collective experience.
Correspondingly, education is reduced to content and professors to content deliverers, and students have less opportunity to stretch beyond their own perspectives and acquire awareness of others’ differences. Student data is mined for profit by private industry and various incentives and constraints put pressure on educators to adopt EdTech for the purpose of generating this profit. The schools themselves don’t profit, but the false economy of whiz-bang automated efficiency makes EdTech difficult for most schools to resist.
More on the point,
Dr. Hearn predicts that postsecondary educators will “increasingly be asked to prefigure course content in advance to make it more amenable to datafication and coding.” She concludes by warning that “the current free speech debates provide a familiar distraction from what is, in fact, an unprecedented assault on university autonomy by educational technologies and their proprietary, black-boxed forms of data extraction.”
This has been happening for years, with standardized templates for course descriptions and learning objectives that assist admins and data kids.