Postdigital education in design and practice

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Digital education is one of a number of terms (including e-learning, technology-enhanced learning, online learning, blended learning) that have seen increasing use in educational discourse and in the branding of educational programmes. A lack of conceptual clarity around such terms makes it easier for different groups to appropriate them in the service of conflicting agendas. In this paper, I discuss the pros and cons of the tendency to distinguish between digital and non-digital, arguing that while concepts like “digital education” can be useful insofar as they encourage people to look closer at the design and practice of teaching and learning, they become problematic when used to close down ideas or attribute essential properties to technology. Considering the implications for understanding institutional initiatives, student practices, and the interplay between teaching design and orchestration, I argue for a postdigital perspective in which all education—even that which is considered to lie outside of digital education—takes account of the digital and non-digital, material and social, both in terms of the design of educational activities and in the practices that unfold in the doing of those activities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)132-145
Number of pages14
JournalPostdigital Science and Education
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Design
  • Digital education
  • e-Learning
  • Institutional agendas
  • Learning analytics
  • Teaching

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