Course Calendar

January 26 — Introductions

What do we mean by “critical”? What do we mean by “educational technology”? How are these frameworks present, constructed, and contested within our own disciplinary and professional domains? How will this course be useful to us in developing, testing, and solidifying a critical stance vis a vis ed tech?

February 2 — Definitions and Contexts

Where and how are educational technologies developed, deployed, supported, procured, and contested? How are these contexts different from one another? How are they alike?



February 9 — Theory

What theoretical frameworks can facilitate a critical approach to educational technology? In what specific ways are they useful?


  • Selwyn, Neil, “Why Distrust Educational Technology?” and “Understanding Educational Technology as Ideology” in Distrusting Educational Technology: Critical Questions for Changing Times. 1st edition. New York ; London: Routledge, 2013. (Course Library)
  • Christensen, Clayton M., and Henry J. Eyring. Ch. 1, 13-14, 20, 23 in The Innovative University: Changing the DNA of Higher Education from the Inside Out. 1st edition. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2011. (Course Library)
  • Broussard, Meredith. 2018. “Chapter Five: Why Poor Schools Can’t Win at Standardized Tests.” Artificial Unintelligence: How Computers Misunderstand the World. Cambridge, Massachusetts: The MIT Press. (Course Library)
  • Siemens, George. n.d. “Connectivism: A Learning Theory for the Digital Age.” (Course Library)


February 16 — Pedagogy

How is pedagogy implicated in educational technology discussions and processes? How are pedagogical assumptions embedded in educational technologies, and how do they impact teaching and learning?


  • Friere, Paulo, “From Pedagogy of the Oppressed” and McLaren, Peter, “Critical Pedagogy: A Look at the Major Concepts” from Darder, Antonia, Marta Baltodano, and Rodolfo D. Torres. The Critical Pedagogy Reader. 2nd ed. New York, NY: Routledge, 2009. (Course Library)
  • hooks, bell. 1994. “Introduction,” “Chapter One: Engaged Pedagogy,” and “Chapter Twelve: Confronting Class in the Classroom” in Teaching to Transgress: Education as the Practice of Freedom. New York: Routledge. (Course Library)
  • Vygotsky, L. S. 1978. “Chapter 6: Interaction between Learning and Development” in Mind in Society: The Development of Higher Psychological Processes. Edited by Michael Cole, Vera John-Steiner, Sylvia Scribner, and Ellen Souberman. Revised ed. edition. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press. (Course Library)
  • Bass, Randall. 1997. “Engines of Inquiry: Teaching, Technology, and Learner-Centered Approaches to Culture and History.” Engines of Inquiry: A Practical Guide for Using Technology in Teaching American Culture. Washington, D.C.: American Studies Crossroads Project, American Studies Association. (Course Library)


February 23 — Economics

Where does ed tech funding come from, and how does it work? What implications does this sourcing have on procurement and deployment?


  • Srnicek, Nick. “Chapter 2: Platform Capitalism” in Platform Capitalism. 1st edition. Cambridge, UK ; Malden, MA: Polity, 2016. (Course Library)
  • Fabricant, Michael, and Stephen Brier. 2016. “Chapter Four: The Making of the Neoliberal Public University.” Austerity Blues: Fighting for the Soul of Public Higher Education. JHU Press. (Course Library)
  • Williamson, Ben. 2018. “Silicon Startup Schools: Technocracy, Algorithmic Imaginaries and Venture Philanthropy in Corporate Education Reform.” Critical Studies in Education 59 (2): 218–36.


March 2 — Data

How are data produced, consumed, and deployed via educational technologies? What does it mean to have a critical stance towards data in the realms that we’ve identified?


March 9 — Rhetoric

Special guest: Jim Groom
What rhetorical strategies are present within the realm of educational technology, and how are we to understand them? How is this rhetoric distilled at the level of the institution? What rhetorical skills must an educational technologist have to be successful in their work?


March 16 — No Class — Mid-term Paper Due

March 23 — Case One: Chat-GPT

March 30 — Case One: Pt. II

April 6 — No Class, Spring Break

April 13 — No Class, Spring Break

April 20 — Case Two, CUNY Online

April 27 — Case Two, CUNY Online, Part Two

May 4 —Case Two, Part Three

May 11 — Discussion of Final Projects

May 18 — No class meeting; Final Projects Due