I INTERNATIONAL CONGRESS ON DEMOCRATIC DIGITAL EDUCATION AND OPEN EDTECH
Rights, Culture and EdTech
12-13-14 July 2022 – Barcelona
The conference is part of Xnet’s Proposal for a Democratic and Sovereign Digitalisation of Europe, published in the Publication Office of the European Union.
Xnet, University of Barcelona, Open Knowledge Foundation (OKFN), postgraduate course on Technopolitics and Rights in the Digital Era (University of Barcelona).
1 – To provide analysis tools to schools, teachers, the educational community, legislators and the general public in order to understand, firstly, the digital context and culture, and the problems and opportunities it offers in the educational context, and secondly, to propose the design of pedagogies and Digital School Strategies from an innovative, agile, humanistic and respectful perspective with human rights.
2 – Sharing the public code generated in Barcelona based on Xnet’s Democratic Digitalisation Plan for Education to add talent and generate opportunity and growth: international presentation of the open source public code DD tool with the protection of digital rights and data sovereignty of the educational community from the design and by default. Currently being implemented in 12 schools in the city.
12th-13th July – Panels and presentations
> Contextual framework
> Datification in Education: Perspectives and Case Studies
> Open access in research and education
> Curriculum design: digital competences as a positive digital culture beyond technophobia or instrumental reductionism
> Curriculum design: digital literacy and computational thinking
> First was the code: digital rights, auditability, interoperability in education
> Open knowledge: a possible future for education
[Simultaneous translation will be provided in Catalan, Spanish and English.].
14th July – Workshops
> International DevOps room around the DD tool
> Data Detox for the whole family
> Working group on curriculum design
> Video games: potential and problems
> Meeting of the City Coalition of Digital Rights
See full program here.
“It is also about sending a message to those who design educational policies to correct an approach to digital culture in education that is merely based on product placement by large multinationals and techno-solutionism. As in literature, digital culture is deeply human and that is why the approach must be based on the inclusion of all capacities, not just technical ones, and from the defense of fundamental rights. And not only this: the DD tool, whose code we presented at the congress, literally represents the beginning of the digital reconquest of Europe”.
Faced with the massive arrival of Big Tech in the education system, in 2019 Xnet and a group of families created a Plan for the Democratic Digitalisation of Education with digital rights and distributed entrepreneurship as a starting point. The arrival of the Big Tech companies implied, among other things, the loss of data sovereignty and technological autonomy of the educational community.
The Plan for the Democratic Digitalisation of Education included, among other things, the development of an agile digital education infrastructure based on widely consolidated and robust auditable code. The tool, called DD, has a pilot that is already running in several schools in Barcelona and is growing rapidly.
The congress is part of the Plan for the Democratic Digitalisation of Education and aims, firstly, to analyse how the digital world is being addressed in education from various perspectives and, secondly, to propose concrete corrective solutions, some of which will be implemented live and in real time.
The need to organise the 1st International congress on Democratic Digital Education and Open EdTech stems from this innovative field experimentation, very concrete and real, which has highlighted the absence of a reference space for training and reflection for the educational community and citizens in general that addresses the current challenges of how digital culture is taught from an innovative, but at the same time democratic, comprehensive and critical perspective, which overcomes the reductionist approach to the digital world as an instrumental technical issue.
Digital competences need not necessarily be technological competences: they can be, as happens with literature, simply cultural competences. The profound digital challenges of our times at the educational level require going beyond the instrumental competence framework and extending it to this new framework as a matter of course. The teaching of digital culture does not have to be entrusted only to those with technical skills, and this discursive and conceptual transformation opens the door to tackling an infinite number of issues and challenges: information management, data sovereignty and privacy, algorithms and discriminatory biases, Big Tech oligopolies, net neutrality, open knowledge and education, digital infrastructures, digital environmental impact, etc. The transformative values of the digital age are common heritage. In this way, we want to reflect on the very foundations of digital education in order to provide a critical and constructive response to the challenges of today’s society in a way that addresses the internet with all its democratic potential while questioning its anti-democratic and anti-digital rights drifts.
The final objective is the innovation of the forms and contents of digital education, moving away from technophobia, technodeterminism or instrumental reductionism, and towards a comprehensive education on digital culture: from how to digitalise teaching to how to explain in the educational sphere what the digital world and culture are, not so much as an anecdotal and functional fact but as one of the most crucial and transversal issues of our times.
The congress is already a benchmark in Europe for reflection and training.
Simona Levi and Cecilia Bayo, congress organization; Sergio Salgado, consulting and documentation; Miriam Carles, legal team; Xavier Farrés, production; Isaac Monclús, press; Radaub and P. Castaño, networks; Begonya Companyon, administration; Christopher Millard, translations; Simultània Intèrprets, simultaneous translation; Edu Bayer, photograph.