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Postdigital Difficulty

Photo: timJ on Unsplash

A contribution from Felicitas Macgilchrist

Only with both digital and sustainability skills can schools use new technologies as tools to shape a sustainable future and push digitalization itself in the direction of a sustainable society.

These words are from the flyer for a European roundtable on school education at the interface of digital transformation and sustainability, at which I was honoured to give a short input to get the conversation rolling. I agree with the impetus of the Leuphana University event to think digitality and sustainability together, but also I see some major problems lurking in this sentence.

The goal of the roundtable was to bring together two communities which are both incredibly dynamic, but which rarely come together at one table. On the surface, many similarities exist between those working on digital education and those working on education for sustainable development. In this slightly edited version of the input I gave, I list six. But there are also very good reasons that these two communities rarely work together. Looking below the surface, some significant ethical-economic-ecological-political differences exist between these two communities. I’ll discuss three. Since, I didn’t want to end with a conflict, I also suggest a couple of ways to possibly come together fruitfully in the future. These are flagged by the terms ‚difficult knowledge‘ and ‚postdigital‘.

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