Digital Detox 2021 Archive

The Post-Pandemic University

  • Learn

about how the crisis teaching methods, and other technological strategies, we undertook in 2020 might have unforeseen consequences, and about how we might work together to build back better in spite of the pressures on us and our institutions.

  • Connect

with other members of the TRU community and beyond, and think through strategies to use these tools better, or maybe to resist them all together. Last year, 225 people — students, staff, faculty, concerned individuals — participated from around the world.

  • Recharge

after a stressful and complicated 2020 that saw many of us engage with technology in unhealthy and unsustainable ways. Let’s get critical — in a productive way! — and plan for 2021 to be a better year for students (and everyone!) in higher education.

What to Expect When You’re Detoxing

From January 15th to February 26th, you’ll get a weekly essay that takes a deep dive into some aspect of the relationship between education and technology: from the use (and abuse) of analytics, to the ethics of virtual proctoring, to the cognitive load of the videoconference, to the implications for equity of the choices we make. We’ll talk about what we want the university to be, and what we can do to shape it.

Blue neon off-set at the top right of a blue wall. Text reads, "Work harder."
Digital Detox 2021

Digital Detox #4: Habits, Data, and Things That Go Bump in the Night: Microsoft for Education

Today, I want to spend some time looking at a tool that has become just about ubiquitous in education: the Microsoft Office365, and particularly Microsoft Teams.  For most of us working in post-secondary, the Office suite has traditionally been wallpaper: it’s just there, used in our offices and offered to our students, but not part…

Red and blue neon on a birkc wass reads "Leave dishevelled or leave now."
Digital Detox 2021

Digital Detox #3: E-proctoring Sucks, So Why Won’t It Go Away?

If there’s one trend that Covid-19 brought on like a freight train — other than the crushing existential dread — it’s e-proctoring. Reader, I hate it. There are loads of good pieces online about why e-proctoring is troubling, but I want to focus on what I think e-proctoring says about the state of education now,…

blue neon text on a black background reads Stay Weird
Digital Detox 2021

Digital Detox #2: The LMS, Tech-Driven Pedagogy, and Making Bad Choices Too Easy

It’s common discourse in teaching and learning circles to hear the comment that we can’t let technology drive our pedagogy. But is it true? If I walk into a classroom and the chairs are fixed rather than movable, it changes how I approach the lesson plan; if there’s no whiteboard or no surface to write…

Pink neon on a black background. Text reads, "Do it together, never alone."
Digital Detox 2021

Digital Detox #1: Welcome to the Show

Welcome to the 2021 TRU Digital Detox.  Last year, I used the Digital Detox at least in part to introduce myself to the TRU campus and showcase my priorities in my new role as Coordinator, Educational Technologies. My big thing was hope. Hope! Yes, venture capitalism and surveillance tech and corporate edtech are things that…

Red neon text on a black background: Game On
Digital Detox 2021

Digital Detox #0: Preview

Last year, following the example of the very cool team at Middlebury College, we launched the 2020 TRU Digital Detox. In a series of eight essays (and three face-to-face sessions!), we discussed pressing issues in educational technologies. We focused on ethics, algorithms, and data privacy, and we explored the idea of applying an ethics of…