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Taming unruly beings: students, discipline and educational technology

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Digital distraction has become a prominent concern in the world of education, as evident in the growing trend of banning mobile phones. Since laptops are practically indispensable to contemporary schooling, however, banning these devices remains a rare and controversial response. Far more commonplace is the deployment of classroom rules and policies outlining appropriate uses of information and communication technology (ICT). By way of an empirical example, this article provides two contrasting theoretical analyses of such ICT rules: a critical story inspired by neo-Marxism and a posthumanist story inspired by actor-network theory. In the critical story, teachers use ICT rules to tame unruly students and make them compliant workers. In the posthumanist story, however, students and teachers jointly use ICT rules to tame unruly laptops and domesticate these entities. The article tells these two stories, unpacks their basic assumptions and discusses their implications for the field of educational technology.
Original languageEnglish
JournalTechnology, Pedagogy and Education
Pages (from-to)159-170
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - 2022

    Research areas

  • Agency, RESISTANCE, discipline, education, posthumanism, technology

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