06 SES 01, Risk, Learning and Orientation in an Era of Digitalisation
Phenomenona of social transformation influenced by technological innovations have been observed by science for decades. Impacts of service society (Bell, 1974) on or the importance of knowledge (Stehr, 1994) for social change and individual re-orientation are researched in many contexts. Nowadays new risks arise from a complex world circumscribed as a VACU (volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous) environment. Referring to this context social sciences for example discuss the consequences of uncertainty (Bauman, 2007). Another focus of this time diagnose is related to technology and its impacts on society and orientation of individuals in society. Based on these changes also shaped by digital technologies, the question of how digitality (Stalder, 2018) influences everyday life rises in educational sciences.
Educational sciences are focusing on the impact of digital technologies especially on education, learning and training processes. That includes aspects such as changes in practices, conditions, consequences, times and spaces. To sum up, educational research tries to characterize the importance of a digital environment for every level of learning. That includes the importance of learning to enhance the ability of self-orientation in a VACU environment. To conceptualize these processes one can focus on different concepts of lifelong learning. Discussed on both supranational and national levels it provides several hints regarding different dimensions of realizing self-orientation of individuals in an era of risks.
One of these dimensions concerns the role of (social) interactions between humans as well as between human and non-human actors. As already described by Stalder (2018), social aspects play an important role to produce knowledge and make learning as a source of self-orientation possible. He points out the impact of communality and referentiality for structuring daily life as well as dealing with new challenges. By emphasizing communality new forms of constructing meaning in a wide social context such as national or supranational society can be focused as well as (in)formal learning contexts in different sections of national or supranational educational systems. Besides social media, Communities of Practices (Wenger, 2008) can be named as well as the usage of collaborative tools to solve (learning) problems one person alone could not solve by him- or herself. These forms of co-construction also refer to specific aspects of connectivity such as processes of linking individuals across space and time (van Dijck, 2013). Moreover, referentiality focuses on phenomenona of recontextualising existing knowledge to create new knowledge by using linkages provided by media. In this context co-constructive processes to enhance or limit ways of distributing information by specific recommendation systems or filter bubbles can be mentioned.
The proposal makes different approaches of lifelong learning subject of discussion highlighting different focus areas to identify levels of self-orientation in an era of risks. Based on these levels it emphasizes the role of digital technologies enabling interactions between human and non-human actors to structure processes of self-orientation. It also points out media related implications arising from these connections especially in the field of adult education from a European perspective. By focusing on this pedagogical field, which includes learning contexts over the life span, a various range of opportunities and challenges of media usage and media literacy can be made a subject of discussion.
Based on theoretical research and empirical research (Wahl, 2017) in the discourse of lifelong learning, media literacy and adult education the proposal focuses as a first step on different national and supranational approaches of lifelong learning. By comparing these political and scientific views on the concept of lifelong learning various levels of self-orientation can be worked out. Afterwards the role of (social) interactions between humans as well as between human and non-human actors will be pointed out by using frameworks such as referentiality, communality or connectivity. Finally, the proposal refers to the most important aspects to promote or limit self-orientation in a VACU environment.
Discussing different views on lifelong learning and the role of digital technologies to structure (social) interaction the proposal identifies new perspectives on conditions, strategies and contexts of realizing self-orientation of individuals in an era of risks. Moreover, it enriches the discourse of (lifelong) learning concerning its media pedagogical dimensions and points out the potentials of focusing on (social) interactions as learning contexts in times of digitality. In addition, it combines potentials of supranational and national learning policies with innovative scientific views on digital technologies.
Bell, Daniel (1974). The Coming of Post-Industrial Society. New York: Harper. Bauman, Z. (2007). Liquid Times: Living in an Age of Uncertainty. Cambridge: Polity Press. Stalder, F. (2018). The Digital Condition. Cambridge: Polity Press. Stehr, N. (1994). Knowledge Societies. London: SAGE. Van Dijck, J. (2013). The Culture of Connectivity. A Critical History of Social Media. Oxford: University Press. Wahl, J. (2017). Lebenslanges Lernen zwischen Bildungspolitik und pädagogischer Praxis. Bielefeld: Bertelsmann. Wenger, E. (2008). Communities of practice. Learning, Meaning, and Identity. Cambridge: University Press.
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