Alum Christo Sims Keynotes at Education Disrupted

06 Jul, 2018

Alum Christo Sims Keynotes at Education Disrupted

Alum Christo Sims, now an assistant professor at UCSD, keynoted Education Disrupted, a conference that seeks to shed light on the newest political developments, current visions among commercial actors, and research on the potentials and pitfalls of the imaginary of technological disruption when it faces the everyday life at educational institutions.

From the website:

Digital technologies are never neutral means to an end but rather normative change agents that reconfigure the praxis they are integrated into in unexpected ways. Nevertheless, a general technological optimism and ‘disruptionism’ permeates today’s political and commercial climate.

Christo spoke about techo-idealism and the potentials for "failed" educational disruption:

Given that technologically centered approaches to education reform routinely fall short of reformers’ stated aims, often dramatically so, how is it that enthusiasm for new rounds of educational disruption faithfully recurs? Moreover, what do these cycles of techno-idealism manage to accomplish even as reformers are largely unable to make good on their benevolent aims? This talk addresses these questions by drawing on an ethnographic case study of a recent attempt to reinvent schooling for the digital age. Through an analysis of the nuanced interactions amongst funding agencies, policymakers, experts, the media, and the intended beneficiaries of reform―in this case, students and their parents―I argue that “failed” cycles of educational disruption are nevertheless quite effective at refixing the status quo, in large part because they offer ample opportunities for different people to experience and affirm their political indignations and hopes but in structurally unthreatening ways.

Find out more about the conference here.