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As technology continues encroaching in our lives, how can we educate for just futures? or What I Did on My Sabbatical

memoji image of Marie Heath emerging from a laptop and waving

Loyola emphasizes its strong liberal arts foundation as critical to its Jesuit education. In our educational technology program, Dr. Marie Heath engaged with the role of the humanities in education and technology over her recent sabbatical. Her research and work argues that technologies are not neutral tools and neither are the societies or schools into which technologies are introduced. Specifically over sabbatical she pursued the question, as technology continues encroaching in our lives, how can we educate for just futures?

Marie Heath, Ed.D.

Marie investigated this question and used her research to develop, model, and share critical and humanities based technology education practices with educators. This has resulted in two large projects during her sabbatical: The Civics of Technology project and a project working toward justice and anti-racism in computer science education.

Civics of Technology (CoT) Project

Her largest sabbatical endeavor was the launch of the Civics of Technology Project in January of 2022 with her colleague Dr. Dan Krutka, Associate Professor at the University of North Texas. The project shares curriculum, research, and professional development to encourage educators and students to critically inquire into the effects of technology on our individual and collective lives.

Drs. Heath and Krutka, along with other project contributors, post weekly on the CoT blog and host book clubs, meetups, and other events related to justice and technology. They have developed and shared curricular resources for educators at all age and grade levels. They facilitated the first annual conference on August 4th and 5th, 2022. Dr. Ruha Benjamin, Professor of African American studies at Princeton, and author of the groundbreaking book Race Against Technology: Abolitionist Tools for the New Jim Code keynoted the conference. The CoT will host its first annual research retreat in May 2023, to convene scholars interested in this work to engage with new lines of inquiry and social action.

Justice and Anti-Racism in Computer Science Education

Marie also engaged in work to bring humanities into computer science education. She and her colleague Dr. Aman Yadav, Professor of Educational Psychology and Educational Technology at Michigan State University, partnered to research the intersections of race, education, and computer science (CS). They have recently published two papers on the subject proposing new pedagogies and curriculum for computer science education. Currently, they are analyzing CS teacher education programs to identify whether and how race and justice are taught in CS teacher education. They have also written an National Science Foundation (NSF) grant to further support this work.

Interested in Justice and Humanities in Tech? Read or Listen for More

As a result of the humanities and technology work Marie pursued over her sabbatical, she was a guest on several education podcasts. You can hear Dr. Neil Selwyn interview Marie on Meet the Education Researcher or you can listen to Drs. Dede, Bonk, Mishra, and Zhao chat with Marie on their show, Silver Lining for Learning. Marie also published several articles on this work, which you may find listed below:

Heath, M., Asim, S., Milman, N., & Henderson, J. (2022). Confronting tools of the oppressor: Framing just technology integration in educational technology and teacher education. Contemporary Issues in Technology and Teacher Education, 22(4).

Krutka, D. G., Heath, M. K., & van Kessel, C. (2022). "I Know More than the Scietists?": Selecting Media Education Approaches for the Moment. Social Education, 86(6), 398-401.

Krutka, D. G., Heath, M. K., & Smits, R. M. (2022). Toward a civics of technology. Journal of Technology and Teacher Education, 30(2), 229-237.

Yadav, A., & Heath, M. K. (2022). Breaking the Code: Confronting Racism in Computer Science through Community, Criticality, and Citizenship. TechTrends, 1-9.

Yadav, A., Heath, M., & Hu, A. D. (2022). Toward justice in computer science through community, criticality, and citizenship. Communications of the ACM, 65(5), 42-44.

Please feel free to reach out to Marie with questions about her work or to join in the next Civics of Technology book club!