Why does digital learning matter? Digital competencies, social justice, and critical pedagogy in initial teacher education
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Coker, H. (2020) Why does digital learning matter? Digital competencies, social justice, and critical pedagogy in initial teacher education. Journal of Teaching and Learning, 14(1), p. 133-141.
Digital tools and spaces are becoming prevalent in schools across the world requiring the development of digital skillsets for student-teachers. Digital technology, in enabling education to extend beyond the space and time boundaries of the conventional classroom (Seifert et. al., 2015), brings the digital landscape into the classroom and firmly into the frame of reference for those preparing student-teachers to enter the profession. For Initial Teacher Education (ITE) programmes which foreground social justice, the digital (i.e., technology which is linked to the internet) goes far beyond a skillset or a discrete subject. Engaging with digital learning encompasses the 21st century context - both local and global - in which student - teachers and their future pupils are situated. Developing a critical pedagogic approach involves understanding the context in which one lives and enabling learners to challenge or change it (Freire, 1996). For those working in ITE a postdigital lens provides a means to understand the context in which they are situated. Critical pedagogy enables student - teachers to understand that context, and challenge the inequities which persist, preparing them not simply to navigate the digital landscape, but to engage with it critically. Reflecting on student - teacher learning this article explores the digital dimension, highlighting the importance of digital learning when engaging with critical pedagogy and social justice in ITE.