Teaching with the dream machines: the representation of teachers and computers in information technology advertising

Lyn Dawes, Neil Selwyn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

One of the immediate effects of the United Kingdom National Grid for Learning initiative has been the rapidly increasing commercial interest in the educational use of information and communications technology (ICT) and the growth of associated advertising aimed towards a teacher audience. However, an unfamiliarity with educational ICT means that many companies are ‘selling’ their products to teachers for the first time. Acknowledging the importance of this commercial ‘construction’ of the relationship between teachers and computers, this article examines a selection of recent educational ICT advertisements in terms of the depiction and positioning of teachers, technology, students and information technology (IT) firms. After highlighting the relative lack of teacher representation within the advertisements, the article focuses on the recurring representation of teachers and technology on a ‘dream’/’nightmare’ basis; where technology and IT firms are presented as enabling the ‘dream’ of individualised learning free from the ‘nightmare’ of the teacher’s involvement. Having traced the roots of this discourse within wider educational thinking, we consider how ICT could be presented to teachers in a more positive and realistic manner.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)289-304
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Information Technology for Teacher Education
Volume8
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1999
Externally publishedYes

Cite this

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Teaching with the dream machines : the representation of teachers and computers in information technology advertising. / Dawes, Lyn; Selwyn, Neil.

In: Journal of Information Technology for Teacher Education, Vol. 8, No. 3, 1999, p. 289-304.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

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