Decolonising Learning Technology



There is a global awareness of the extent to which our societies and our educational institutions are permeated and dominated by the ideas, habits, values and structures of the white English majority culture. This awareness now is reflected in moves to ‘decolonise the curriculum’ (and to decolonise research, not to mention #RhodesMustFall). This clearly begs questions about decolonising learning technology, questions about the extent to which our digital pedagogies, our digital technologies and us as learning technologists are complicit in this ignoring or suppressing of other ways of learning, understand and knowing, to the detriment of us all.

The Education Observatory at the University of Wolverhampton will be hosting an informal free online meeting of the West Midlands SIG of ALT, the Association for Learning Technology, to explore these issues with some challenging questions, fascinating insights and provocative ideas.

Find out more about Prof John Traxler’s research into this topic in this ALT blog post.

Webinar hashtag: #ALTWM_decolonise


  • Welcome and introductions (Prof Agnes Chigona, Cape Peninsula University of Technology, and Dr John Couperthwaite, Chair, ALT West Midlands)
  • Decolonising the technology – Prof John Traxler (University of Wolverhampton) – Learning with technology involves interacting with mobiles, tablets, laptops and desktop computers, with their interfaces, icons, operating systems and applications and with all their peripherals. At every level, these interactions are skewed in favour of people and communities who speak, write and read specific languages in specific ways, and who share the educational values, habits, experiences and expectations of the people, culture, corporations and institutions who design, develop and deploy these ‘learning technologies’. John Traxler’s contribution will explore examples of this phenomenon.
  • Don’t look at me, I’m only the content creator – Sam Ahern (University College London) – An introduction to the Anti-racism in LT group and the content creation sub-group, and our activities. Why we should care about decolonising LT and what we as LT professionals can do.
  • Making the invisible visible – why considering hidden power structures can lead to a better understanding of inclusion – Dr Kate Evans (University of Liverpool) – It’s my view that decolonising learning technology is about identifying and overturning hidden power structures, something which goes beyond race, incorporating all groups and individuals who may be (or have historically been) marginalised in our field. We should consider who the dominant voices/creators have historically been and how they came to dominate, who has been absent from the creation processes and debates and why, who is currently able to use which technologies and why/why not, and what inclusion and equality ought to look & feel like at every level. This is not a history lesson, we need to get better at seeing what’s hidden in plain sight. Please join me in beginning to ask better questions as advocates for inclusion.
  • Lightning talks – featuring Mona Younes (Beyond Borders, USA), Elizabeth Bishop (Global Turning Point, USA), and Sonya Strydom (Stellenbosh University, SA)
  • Closing remarks and (exciting) next steps

If you would also like to offer a talk or discussion topic, please contact Prof John Traxler (, or Dr John Couperthwaite ( We are planning further talks in this series and a tweetchat, so all contributions are very welcome.

The event is finished.


Nov 24 2021


8:00 am - 9:30 am

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