"Lenses on COVID-19": Provocations

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This chapter presents a suite of five provocations from leading scholars who look at the impact of COVID-19 on digital disruption in schooling and explore the possibilities and challenges of digital education in the aftermath of the pandemic. Neil Selwyn, in his provocation, makes two points. The first is that the pandemic is being used as a cover for accelerating an EdTech framed future of schooling, and that consequently, there is an urgent need for critical education scholars to provide an alternative policy narrative for socially just schooling. Nick Couldry argues that digital disruption will possibly result in more intense governing of teachers and students, and that the pandemic is speeding up trends already underway. Anna Hogan and Ben Williamson suggest that the EdTech companies in the context of the pandemic have characterized themselves as emergency responders and that they will use this opportunity for further the privatization of schooling for their long-term benefit and profit. Sotiria Grek documents the ways in which teachers in England during the pandemic have been constituted in government discourses as anti-heroes, continuing the long-term demonizing of teachers in that context. Sam Sellar, drawing on the work of Zuboff (2019), suggests three strategies to resist the further privatization of schooling accelerated by the pandemic. These strategies include: “taming” achieved through legislation to protect privacy; “hiding,” where we mask our identities on digital platforms; and “indignation” concerning the negative digital effects of the pandemic. From the vantage point of indignation, Sellar suggests, there are hopeful political possibilities for repairing the infrastructure of public schooling and importance of collective experiences.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDigital Disruption in Teaching and Testing
Subtitle of host publicationAssessments, Big Data, and the Transformation of Schooling
EditorsClaire Wyatt-Smith, Bob Lingard, Elizabeth Hack
Place of PublicationNew York NNY USA
Number of pages20
ISBN (Electronic)9781003045793
ISBN (Print)9780367493356, 9780367493325
Publication statusPublished - 2021

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