April 2021

In the April meeting, we discussed two recent articles on primary education: Kerssens, & van Dijck’s (2021) The platformisation of primary education in The Netherlands; and Edwards’ (2021) Digital play and technical code: What new knowledge formations are possible?. These articles each interrogated how digital technology within primary and early childhood education has become the domain of large, private institutions (Google, Microsoft, Apple, etc.). We used this as a springboard to ask what a different system of digital EdTech would look like and how we could achieve this. For example, if educational technology was open sourced above the platform level (i.e. all platforms plugged into a standardised format a la citation software), would we see more equitable EdTech access? Of course, it is not as simple as simply ‘just’ making standardised EdTech infrastructure. One immediately outstanding issue is the trust (or lack thereof) of the government to a) create an effective educational system, and b) not use this technology to encroach on the privacy of citizens. Perhaps most important is the question of creating digital technology which is not coded with (and upholds) existing, systemic oppressions within society: in a standardised infrastructure, how would we avoid a hegemonic educational culture which erodes cultural and geographic identities?

Notes on the reading can be found here.

Minutes from the meeting can be found here.

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