Category Archives: Social Acceleration Theory

Technological Innovation in Education

imagesIt is true that ICT technologies have given us impressive educational tools during the last three decades but the problem is that more impressive technologies come all too often. How can an educational system incorporate all these changes in such an accelerated mode?

The Social Acceleration Theory of prof. Hartmut Rosa identifies the economic motor as the main external factor that sets technological innovation into motion. Capitalist economy needs growth in order to exist. And in order to have more growth i.e. more production, more consumption etc., the capitalist economy demands for more capable technologies. Technological innovation really creates a competitive advantage for some time for those who have, understand and use the newest technologies and  faster production, cheaper products, more consumption etc are achieved under the motto “time is money”.

These are not the values of education though. A school is not a factory; a teacher is not a production engineer; a school principal is not a marketing manager to push for more consumption. Teaching methods of course need renewal and using ICT tools can mean more effective methods but still we cannot convert the use of technology to a goal by itself.

We lately witness a real effort to catch up with new technologies in the European educational system. Still it would be nice to initiate a parallel action of similar effort in order to define again the terms education, school, pedagogy in other worlds “paideia-παιδεία”. Finally redefining the teacher’s role in this new technological society would be of particular importance as teachers are the key persons in the era of technology.

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The Social Acceleration Theory

social-acceleration-theory-of-modernityThe main subject of our seminar “Managing the fast technological change, for all educators” is the speed by which the technology develops. Referring to technology we refer of course to Information and Communication Technology (ICT) which has given us so many and so impressive possibilities that we have to stop to think about them. Exactly due to the speed of change we do not have the time to reflect on the use of technology. New hardware, software and ideas come in such a high rhythm that reflecting on their use is kind of a luxury today.

Using ICT in education has to take into account that the accelerated technology does not only affect the school but the society as a whole. Thus it is of vital importance to see the changes of ICT in the broader context where the school functions.

In order to better understand these phenomena I have used the Social Acceleration theory of prof. Hartmut Rosa which provides for a suitable framework into which to explore what happens in the modern and postmodern world. This theory may not be the absolute tool to understand our situation but working with it during the last three years I have really gained many insights into the complex world of contemporary education which I would like to share with you. More to come…