Schools and Schooling in the Digital Age
A Critical Analysis
By Neil Selwyn
Routledge – 2011 – 182 pages
This book presents a wide-ranging and critical exploration of a topic that lies at the heart of contemporary education. The use of digital technology is now a key feature of schools and schooling around the world. Yet despite its prominence, technology use continues to be an area of education that rarely receives sustained critical attention and thought, especially from those people who are most involved and affected by it. Technology tends to be something that many teachers, learners, parents, policy-makers and even academics approach as a routine rather than reflective matter.
Tackling the wider picture, addressing the social, cultural, economic, political and commercial aspects of schools and schooling in the digital age, this book offers to make sense of what happens, and what does not happen, when the digital and the educational come together in the guise of schools technology.
In particular, the book examines contemporary schooling in terms of social justice, equality and participatory democracy. Seeking to re-politicise an increasingly depoliticised area of educational debate and analysis, setting out to challenge the many contradictions that characterise the field of education technology today, the author concludes by suggesting what forms schools and schooling in the digital age could, and should, take.
This is the perfect volume for anyone interested in the application and use of technology in education, as well as the education policy and politics that surround it; many will also find its innovative proposals for technology use an inspiration for their own teaching and learning.
"This book represents a key intervention in the debate and deserves not only to be widely read but also acted on."—British Journal of Education Technology\
"Selwyn’s blend of political and sociological perspectives offers an antidote to the celebratory accounts of digital technology in schools. His incisive analyses of the structures and culture of schools—the "grammar of schooling"—that combine to make technology’s current and future influence on classroom practice "underwhelming" is spot on…Selwyn has produced a slim volume well worth the time of those bone-tired of the utopian/dystopian, techno-centrist genre yet curious, even passionate, about answers to significant policy-to-practice questions that this author asks and answers bravely and fully."— Larry Cuban, Educational Technology Journal
"This book provides an excellent overview of the social-cultural complexities surrounding technology use in school, whilst offering a convincing case for the need for constructive critical analysis of educational technology." - Andrew Hope, Educational Research and Evaluation
Part I: High-tech Hope and Digital Disappointment 1. Revisiting the Promise of Digital Technology and Schools 2. The Messy Realities of Digital Technology Use in Schools 3. Rethinking Digital Technology and Schools Part II: Making Sense of Schools, Schooling and Digital Technology 4. Digital Technology and Education Policymaking 5. Digital Technology and the Privitisations of Schooling 6. Digital Technology and the Organisational Concerns of Schools 7. Digital Technology and the Lived Experiences of Teachers and Students Part III: What to do with Schools in the Digital Age 8. Reconstructing Schools and Schooling in the Digital Age 9. Readjusting Schools and Schooling in the Digital Age
Neil Selwyn is Senior Lecturer in the London Knowledge Lab, Institute of Education, University of London, UK.