re:learn – surveillance, ethics and reality gaming


The re:learn Icon; design by Haarhaven & Uestion (CC BY-Sa 2.0)

Our re:learn topic track focuses on education and technology – specifically, how a combination of the two can be used to creatively and responsibly construct the future. At the centre of the track lies the integration of technology and the digital into the educational sector, but above all the idea of ‘integration through technology’ as a medium for social integration – even cross-generationally. This means the focus of attention falls as much on the school system as it does on the extracurricular context.

The resemblance of the school system to the structures of a subtle surveillance and power apparatus was already determined by Michel Foucault in the 1970s. Today, the student’s smart devices make total surveillance even easier. In "How we enthusiastically established the educational system of total surveillance", Jöran Muuß-Merholz ventures a look back at the years between 2015 and 2025. In association with this, Gloria Gonzales-Fuster asks the question of how we can teach the responsible treatment and handling of data in schools, and takes a look at current pedagogical practices in the session "Don't panic, it's your data! Teaching (better) privacy in European schools".

Several sessions will focus directly on children. How do kids navigate the web? How do they deal with the wealth of information and how do they filter it? A panel featuring the kid reporters from “fragFinn” will take these questions on directly in: "’Schischanzen’ and ’Vile Spile’ – how kids search the internet". Jonas Gempp and Stephan Görland argue for more cross-generational empathy. In their workshop, they sit down with kids and teenagers to answer the question: "How do young people inform themselves?". In "Children programming?", Julia Kleeberger and Alexandra Quiring-Tegeder focus on the question of if, and how, children need to be taught a fundamental understanding of programming. The goal here is to enable children to shape the future, digitally and technologically.

The fact that learning the craft of programming alone is not enough is the focus of Maria Reimer’s discussion. A developed consciousness for the societal effect of one’s code has to be established for the equation "Code + Ethics = <3" to hold. Minna Saariketo, too, calls for "Critical Technology Education", which aims at developing a critical understanding of technological developments, so that we do not end up at the mercy of the knowledge and power of individual providers and developers. Web literacy is the name of the game when Michelle Thorn takes to Stage 1 to discuss how we can effectively handle the internet. The focus here also goes beyond technical skill in and of itself, but rather positions it as a condition for participation in the digital society.

The specific applications of technologies will also be discussed at the re:learn. "The Time Travelling Classroom" attempts to make reality gaming applicable in school, with Jan Meppen introducing this playful learning concept. Markos Lemma looks beyond Europe to Ethiopia, where technology is helping improve literacy rates in: "Hyper-local Learning: How Technology Helps Communities to become Literate?". Of course, we cannot forget the importance of adapting the mediation of knowledge in class to the new conditions of a digitalized world. To that end, Markus Mathar will be highlighting the connection of "Cognitive computing and school".

The panel "(Net) Political education through web videos and YouTube" moves away from the pedagogical context and lands smack dab in the middle of the social media sphere. Representatives from the mesh collective, 301+, the German Federal Agency for Civic Education and mediale pfade will discuss the political-educational potential of YouTube and co.

And it isn’t just about the kids and teenagers, we also can’t forget about the older generations. At the re:learn: crossing two generations and moving confidently through the web, Ilse and Carline Mohr show us how to go "From silversurfer to silvernerd – and how to get Family 2.0 up and running".

Additionally, there will be two lightning sessions to provide the opportunity for the presentation of individual projects and concepts. The first round will be dedicated to new ways of learning. Topics featured will be how geocaching is helping transcend cultural borders, what the school of the future will look like and how this future is already beginning in Berlin-Neukölln, and how a Wikipedia for kids is being developed in the form of Klexikon. The second lightning session offers a platform for projects aimed at overcoming socio-economic and cultural boundaries. An education-based Wikipedia has the goal of making education as broadly accessible to the global public as Allversity, while Making@Palestine aims to teach children in Palestine computer modelling through the use of 3D printers so as to help reduce the digital divide.