Whose interest is educational technology serving? Who is included and who is excluded?

Kuhn, C (2019) 'Whose interest is educational technology serving? Who is included and who is excluded?' RIED: Revista Iberoamericana de Educación a Distancia, 22 (1). pp. 207-220. ISSN 1138-2783

Official URL: https://doi.org/10.5944/ried.22.1.22293


This article gives an account of what is happening nowadays in the intersection of education and technology. It aims to offer an overview that starts not in the present but in the past so that we become aware of how more often than not we are trapped in political rhetoric and capitalistic discourses. Headings in newspapers from 1963 read, “Crowded schools. Overworked teachers. In today’s education turmoil, can your child obtain the personalized teaching that every child, average or advanced, need?” and for that problem the solution proposed was technological, hence, little has changed in relation to the crowded schools and overworked teachers. I then scrutinise the present through the invasion of platforms and the accompanying Silicon Valley discourse about universal solutions to education concluding that the situation does not look very different than at the beginning of the 20th century. The future is illustrated using my own research giving an account of my sociological oriented approach to educational research in the field. Critical realism and realist social theory are described briefly and proposed as a theoretical framework to think about these issues in a less deterministic way, giving its due importance to the local. It offers a theory-driven approach to a methodology that thinks about how to capture the daily entanglements of students with open and participatory digital tools in the context of their studies looking at uncovering the invisible thus hidden structures that operate as constraints for students’ agency in their digital practice.

Item Type: Article

The English title of the journal is 'The Iberoamerican Journal of Distance Education'. The article is available to read at the link above.

Keywords: digital practice, technological determinism, critical realism, realist social theory, educational technology
Divisions: School of Education
Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.5944/ried.22.1.22293
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Date Deposited: 08 Jun 2021 09:14
Last Modified: 15 Aug 2021 09:56
URI / Page ID: https://researchspace.bathspa.ac.uk/id/eprint/14137
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