What if the technology was reversed

Digitization remains the topic of the hour. Fortunately, it has to be added from a pedagogical point of view, because meanwhile the camp of euphorics and that of apocalyptic are increasingly converging in their positions. The right measure seems to be within reach. One point in the discussion is still sensitive. Who has the edge: "Education over technology" or "Technology over education"? Or does it have to be "pedagogy and technology"? A closer look at these possible connections shows that there is no alternative to one position: pedagogy over technology.

It is worth making a distinction, firstly, what is technically possible and what is pedagogically sensible, and secondly, what follows for learning and what needs to be considered for education. Against this background, it can be made clear how "technology before pedagogy", but also "pedagogy and technology" lead astray:

It is already technically possible today for a face scan to provide information about the state of mind of learners. But does it make educational sense? If one day teachers have to fall back on it, there is already (too) much in the way of trouble. In an educational atmosphere, learners approach teachers when they have concerns and teachers approach learners when they notice that something is wrong.

It is already technically possible today to package learning processes in such a way that children and young people no longer even notice the learning process. But does it make educational sense? Those who interpret learning as entertainment fail to recognize the importance of learning for education and ignore the grammar of learning, which requires challenge, effort and commitment as well as detours, wrong turns and mistakes.

It is already technically possible today that foreign languages ​​no longer have to be learned because a computer acts as a simultaneous translator. But does it make educational sense? Foreign languages ​​are more than words. They are carriers of culture, of values ​​and norms, of history. It is not for nothing that Johann Wolfgang von Goethe concludes: "Those who do not know foreign languages ​​do not know anything about their own."

It is already technically possible today for a laptop to give the learner a signal when it is time to take a break. But does it make educational sense? The goal of education can be seen in the responsible citizen who is free from constraints and makes decisions based on their reason. Education is therefore not what I have been made of, but what I have made of my life.

Technology has to serve people - not the other way around and not put on an equal footing. When technology robs people of their freedom and responsibility, people become machines - and a situation emerges about which Albert Einstein says: "I am afraid of the day when technology will surpass our humanity. In the world will there is only one generation of idiots left. " Thus, the question of the possibilities of digitization is always linked to the limits of digitization and always requires the opportunities for learning to be compared with the risks for education. Comprehensive media education - consisting of media studies, media use, media design and media criticism - is therefore the fundamental mandate of digitization in the education sector.

Klaus Zierer, 41, is Professor of School Education at the University of Augsburg.