☞ Updated MAY 2024 

currently reading & recently read

By Carlo Perrotta (2024) 

"Plug-and-Play Education: Knowledge and Learning in the Age of Platforms and Artificial Intelligence documents and critiques how the education sector is changing with the advancement of ubiquitous edtech platforms and automation. As programmability and computation reengineer institutions towards efficiency and prediction, the perpetual collection of and access to digital data is creating complex opportunities and concerns. Drawing from research into secondary and higher education settings, this book examines the influence of digital “infrastructuring”, the automation of teaching and learning, and the very purpose of education in a context of growing platformisation and artificial intelligence integration. These theoretical, practical, and policy-oriented insights will offer educational technologists, designers, researchers, and policymakers a more inclusive, diverse, and open-ended perspective on the design and implementation of learning technologies."

Edited By Cristóbal Cobo & Axel Rivas (2023) 

"This book provides a scholarly investigation of the new era we have entered, in which platforms can replace or profoundly modify educational systems, and questions the role of educational policy in this new stage of platform-based digital technology. The contributors explore important questions around who controls these transformations, what form they are taking, what the balance between national education policies and Big Tech education solutions should be, as well as whether there should be a public platform in every education system that digitally expands learning, and what evidence there is that learning will be more efficient using these platforms. The first part provides a selection of empirical studies on the new digital educational policy, and an analysis of the real opportunities and concerns that governments face in this regard, while the second offers reflections on the processes of platformization and the role of the state in this new digital world. Uniquely examining the temporal evolution of these changes and taking a theoretical, political, and epistemological approach, it crucially opens pathways for dialogical and diverse critical thinking about profound problems and possibilities. Gathering purposeful thinking that creates space for design solutions and rethinking educational systems considering these new technological artefacts, it will appeal to researchers and specialists in the fields of educational technology and educational policy."

World Yearbook of Education 2024 

Digitalisation of Education in the Era of Algorithms, Automation and Artificial Intelligence (1st edition)

2023, Routledge | edited by Ben Williamson, Janja Komljenovic, Kalervo Gulson

"Providing a comprehensive, global overview of the digitalisation of education, the World Yearbook of Education 2024 examines the ways advanced digital technologies are transforming educational practices, institutions and policy processes.

Establishing a critical research agenda for analysing the digitalisation of education, the carefully selected chapters in this collection interrogate the current impacts of new digital technologies, emerging controversies over emerging data practices and future implications of algorithmic systems, automated decision-making and AI in education. Organised into four sections, the contributions in the collection examine the following:

Big Data in Education (2017), Ben Williamson | SAGE Publications

Big data has the power to transform education and educational research. Governments, researchers and commercial companies are only beginning to understand the potential that big data offers in informing policy ideas, contributing to the development of new educational tools and innovative ways of conducting research.

This cutting-edge overview explores the current state-of-play, looking at big data and the related topic of computer code to examine the implications for education and schooling for today and the near future.

Key topics include:

Algorithms of Education: How Datafication and Artificial Intelligence Shape Policy 

by Kalervo N. Gulson, Sam Sellar,  and P. Taylor Webb (2022)

"Exploring case studies of data infrastructures, facial recognition, and the use of data science in education, Algorithms of Education maps the political and methodological directions for engaging with datafication and artificial intelligence in education governance. According to the authors, we must go beyond debates that separate humans and machines to develop new strategies for, and a new politics of, education."

Learning to Live with Datafication: Educational Case Studies and Initiatives from Across the World

Julian Sefton-Green, Luci Pangrazio, (2022)

As digital technologies play a key role across all aspects of our societies and in everyday life, teaching students about data is becoming increasingly important in schools and universities around the world. Bringing together international case studies of innovative responses to datafication, this book sets an agenda for how teachers, students and policy makers can best understand what kind of educational intervention works and why.

Learning to Live with Datafication is unique in its focus on educational responses to datafication as well as critical analysis. Through case studies grounded in empirical research and practice, the book explores the dimensions of datafication from diverse perspectives that bring in a range of cultural aspects. It examines how educators conceptualise the social implications of datafication and what is at stake for learners and citizens as educational institutions try to define what datafication will mean for the next generation.

Education and Technology: Key Issues and Debates, 3rd edition

Neil Selwyn, 2021, Bloomsbury Press

Description: What does the future hold for digital technology and education? What can be learnt from the history of technology use in education? Does digital technology make education more individualized? Will it eventually replace the school, university and teacher?

In a thoroughly revised edition of this successful book, Neil Selwyn takes a critical look at some of the major current debates and controversies concerning digital technologies and education. Focusing on the social as well as the technical aspects of these issues, Selwyn addresses fundamental but often unvoiced questions about education and technology. Over the course of eight chapters, the book gives careful thought to the people, practices, processes and structures behind the rapidly increasing use of technologies in education, with an emphasis on the implications of digital technologies for individuals and institutions.

Brand new chapters on trends in AI and 'big data' driven automation of education, and the future(s) of education and technology are included. This edition also features new sections exploring 'post-digital' perspectives, personalized learning, digital labour, and the impending need for sustainable forms of digital education.

The book focuses attention on the connections between recent technology developments and broader changes in education practice, education policy and education theory over the past few decades. It also challenges us to reflect on future directions and controversies for education in the (post)digital age. Expanded study questions, annotated further reading and a new glossary of key terms are included to support readers. An updated companion website links to bonus chapters and audio recordings for further discussion.

Data Harms: The Evidence Against Education Data

Luci Pangrazio (25 March 2024), Postdigital Science and Education 

"Time and time again, we see the risks of collecting huge amounts of personal data about students. In the news, cyberattacks and data breaches at schools make headlines, and there is a body of academic research dedicated to critical studies of education data (Williamson 2019; Jarke and Breiter 2019; Selwyn et al. 2018). However, in schools and education departments, the role of data is rarely questioned—it provides granular insights into student learning, it can help predict performance and incentivise students, and it can be used to personalise learning and educational experiences. 

Data gathering became crucial to new regimes of ‘accountability’ and ‘new public management’ that emerged in the late 1990s, and aligns with neoliberal approaches to education that rely on performance measures and top-down surveillance of teachers and students (Ball 2003; Connell 2013). However, critical studies of EdTech are beginning to provide evidence that education data can cause harm. Some emerging issues are due to the fact that personal data has become such a valuable commodity (Couldry and Mejias 2019; Zuboff 2019), while the composition of datasets and the design of algorithms present further problems (Noble 2018). It is an important area of inquiry given children and young people in school are subject to the implications of data often without knowing and typically with few opportunities to speak back and resist."

The role of platforms in diffracting education professionalities  

Jennifer Clutterbuck (2023), Tertium Comparationis

Abstract: This paper examines the effect of data management platforms on professional educators. The ways  in which platforms re-shape new professional patterns of school leaders and education bureaucrats is presented through the data management platform, OneSchool. OneSchool is used across 1,258 public schools in Queensland, Australia. Empirical data were gathered from interviews with senior bureaucrats, policy officers, and school leaders from Queensland’s public schooling system. Thematic analysis identified shifts in educational practitioners’ professional roles as they performed their tasks through OneSchool. Analysis of traditional school roles and tasks on the one hand and  demands of online security and information privacy legislations on the other were brought together in an access assemblage. Access was provided by the authorized allocation of ‘roles’ embedded into the platform’s technical code. A dual perspective of the development and use of the OneSchool platform is used to show how educational behaviors, skills and qualities are mutually constitutive of platformized professionalities. To make sense of these platformized professionalities, a diffraction lens is employed, derived from Barad’s (2007) considerations within new feminist materialism and physics. Recalling Foucault’s (1983) adage that everything is dangerous rather than bad, this paper provides insight into the positive and negative ways platforms disrupt and re-shape educational practitioners and their professionalities.

   ❦ more information on these topics can be found on the themes page