Inclusion’s Final Frontier: Universal Design for Learning – ICT and Innovation in Transformative Education

Alan Bruce
Universal Learning Systems, Ireland


The last two decades have produced ample evidence of the extent and degree to which ICT permeates social structures, economy and the generation and transmission of knowledge itself. While much research has concentrated on the ways in which ICT has initiated, facilitated or accelerated key processes of social change, it is also true to say that social change is shaping our understanding of the social role and potential of ICT. To put it simply, ICT based knowledge generation and transmission systems may play a powerful role in an emerging emancipatory dialectic. Or, on the other hand, they may serve increasingly to restrict human choice and freedom, monitor ‘unacceptable’ behaviours or beliefs and gradually target the intimacy and freedom of human thought and opinion forming. All this poses a fundamental challenge to our understanding of ethics, critical dissent, objective inquiry and the possibility to assert the primacy of human rights and choice in shaping a viable social system within an economic framework many commentators now regard as increasingly restrictive and inegalitarian.

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