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At the end of every summer, I make resolutions to take better care of myself during the coming school year. I should exercise more frequently, especially when I feel like I have too much work to do. When time seems to be of short supply, I should take joy in the small things: cooking, walking the dogs, doing yoga with my partner (a project I have yet to start).

Partners motivate us. There is little we can accomplish alone.

As another way of enriching my life, I have also resolved to connect more with other educators who have a similar interest in the history and philosophy of technology.

I hope to find educators who are interested in technology and who want to read widely outside of the bounds of the usual Ed Tech discourse because so many of the questions and issues that we care about have been extensively addressed in other fields.

Let me give you an example. Ruth Oldenziel’s work on the co-construction of gender and technology can help to inform our conversation about gender and STEM. She writes that

‘an exclusive focus on women’s supposed failure to enter the field of engineering is insufficient for understanding how our stereotypical notions have come into being; it tends to put the burden of proof entirely on women and to blame them for their supposedly inadequate socialization, their lack of aspiration, and their want of masculine values. It also runs the risk of limiting gender, as an analytical tool for historical research, as merely an issue affecting women. An equally challenging question is why and how boys have come to love things technical, how boys have historically been socialized into technophiles, and how we have come to understand technical things as exclusively belonging to the field of engineering.’ 1 Oldenziel, R. (2003). Why Masculine Technologies Matter. In Gender and Technology: A Reader (pp. 37–71). Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press., p 41

I propose about a  year’s worth of academic reading, beginning with making a plan to cover relevant topics.

I think an adequate discussion would require more than a twitter chat and I am interested in using a blog in combination with Livefyre’s sidenotes, a group on Mendeley, and some video conversations.

 

People I am interested in:

– philosophers of technology – Bruno Latour, Andrew Feenberg, Donna Harraway

– contemporary media theorists – danah boyd, Jodi Dean, Geert Lovink, Keri Facer

 

Topics I am interested in:

– technology and the history and future of work – The Global Auction on Digital Taylorism

– technology and the working life of teachers –  Cowan’s research on the ironies of household technology

– the co-construction of gender and technology

– relations of inequality and technology – Bruce Sinclair

– usefulness of the concept of ‘technology’- Leo Marx

– changing discourses about childhood / adulthood – Alan Prout

– technology and politics – Neil Selwyn

Slider image credit: I found this beautiful photograph on Flickr.  Here is a link to the license.

Yoga group image credit: ‘take this weight away

Picture of woman with her books and articles

Please let me know if you are interested:

References   [ + ]

1. Oldenziel, R. (2003). Why Masculine Technologies Matter. In Gender and Technology: A Reader (pp. 37–71). Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press., p 41
I footnotes