ROUNDTABLE SERIES

HIGHER EDUCATION IN A MACHINE AGE

 
 
 

This series of round-table discussions consider Christian perspectives on the impact that technological thinking has had on higher education.

Session 1: Has machine culture kidnapped higher education?

Technology is ubiquitous in education and has been for a long time. There are obvious technological developments – like written language, then printing, then the internet. There are less obvious technological developments – like classrooms, standardised tests, and rankings. These technologies mix together to create a new culture: a machine culture.

It is obvious that technology changes education: teaching with access to books is very different to teaching without access to books. But are these changes good, bad, neutral, or ambivalent? In this series of discussions, we will consider education, technology, how they interact, and what a Christian perspective brings to bear on how we engage with their interactions.

Session 2: My faith, my discipline, my machine culture

Drawing on the insights of Session 1, this session practically considers how the implications play out within different aspects of university life. Specifically, we shall look at experiences of technological thinking in research, teaching, and administration.

Session 3: The totalising effects of machine culture in higher education

Building on the discussions from Sessions 1 and 2, this session will look how, rather than being an addition to an otherwise unchanged education system, technology suffuses and transforms every aspect of education.

Session 4: Community responses to machine culture

Building on the discussions from Sessions 12, and 3, this session looks at positive ways of framing education, which may have the richness to withstand technological reduction.

Session 5: Charting the future and engaging with technology

This final session takes the ideas discussed previously in the series and looks to chart a way forward: having critiqued culture, how do we now move forward to create culture? We cannot uncritically embrace culture, but neither can we go on without it. Together, then, we will wrestle with this tension: the need to use inhumane tools to cultivate humanity.

Organizers

Dr. Mike Brownnutt

PhD in experimental quantum mechanics, Imperial College London

Dr. Winnie Fung

PhD in business economics, Harvard University

Dr. Leung Wing Tai

PhD in communication, Regent University