Neil Selwyn's research while affiliated with Monash University (Australia) and other places

Publications (253)

Article
Abstract Anatomy educators are often at the forefront of adopting innovative and advanced technologies for teaching such as artificial intelligence (AI). While AI offers potential new opportunities for anatomical education, hard lessons learned from the deployment of AI tools in other domains (e.g., criminal justice, healthcare, and finance) sugges...
Article
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In this paper, we argue that a particular set of issues mars traditional assessment practices. They may be difficult for educators to design and implement; only provide discrete snapshots of performance rather than nuanced views of learning; be unadapted to the particular knowledge, skills, and backgrounds of participants; be tailored to the cultur...
Article
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Educational systems generate huge quantities of digital data. Digital educational data is captured and used at all points -- from classrooms and schools, to the level of educational departments. As growing trends in ‘data-driven instruction’ suggest, all these data have great potential to support student, teacher and leadership practices, help guid...
Chapter
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The goal of this chapter is to assess research that can inform understandings of places and spaces of learning.The chapter assesses evidence across three types of learning spaces: built spaces, digital spaces, and natural spaces. It looks at the role of these different kinds of spaces for learning, attainment, interpersonal relationships, skills de...
Preprint
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En el presente capítulo hemos puesto el énfasis en algunas cuestio- nes que habría que debatir y analizar entre profesorado y alumnado de universidad, sobre todo en aquellas facultades de Educación que forman a los futuros educadores, maestros y maestras de Educación Primaria y Secundaria. Mediante estas preguntas, proponemos que docentes y estudia...
Article
This paper explores the significance of schools’ data infrastructures as a site of institutional power and (re)configuration. Using ‘infrastructure studies’ as a theoretical framework and drawing on in-depth studies of three contrasting Australian secondary schools, the paper takes a holistic look at schools’ data infrastructures. In contrast to th...
Article
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Interest in artificial intelligence (AI) language models has grown considerably following the release of ‘generative pre-trained transformer’ (GPT). Framing AI as an extractive technology, this article details how GPT harnesses human labour and sensemaking at two stages: (1) during training when the algorithm ‘learns’ biased communicative patterns...
Article
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Amid the increasing digitisation of schools, relatively little work has examined the ways in which digital technologies are reconfiguring the work of school principals. With an approach based on the sociology of work, this paper draws on 19 in-depth interviews with Australian school principals to examine their everyday experiences of digital work—w...
Article
In this paper we analyse data gathered through facial recognition tradeshow ethnographies and interviews with members of the biometrics industry, as we consider recent shifts in industry discourse towards promoting the ‘ethical’ use of biometric technology. As the biometrics industry increasingly moves towards a ‘Video Surveillance as a Service’ (V...
Article
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In light of the growing need to pay attention to general public opinions and sentiments toward AI, this paper examines the levels of understandings amongst the Australian public toward the increased societal use of AI technologies. Drawing on a nationally representative survey of 2019 adults across Australia, the paper examines how aware people con...
Article
Despite climate heating and rising ecological instability, environmental issues feature rarely in discussions of educational technology. Most commentators presume the continued unfettered use of digital education resources bolstered by occasional claims that emerging technologies might support the ‘greening’ of school and university provision. In c...
Article
This article examines digital data use within three Australian secondary schools, drawing on in-depth interviews with 50 school staff to explore tensions between: (i) established logics of “data-driven” schooling; and (ii) emerging “datafied” practices associated with digital systems, platforms and devices. Using sociological theorisation of instit...
Article
This paper considers the subjectivation of students in light of the increasing amounts of digital data that are now being produced within schools. Taking a lead from critical data studies and the sociology of numbers, the paper draws on staff interviews in three Australian secondary schools to explore the various types of student data being generat...
Article
The COVID-19 pandemic has seen the rapid but sometimes controversial take-up of ‘online examination proctoring’ systems by universities keen to maintain their assessment schedules during times of campus closure. Following the theoretical tradition of media ‘domestication’, this article examines the mainstream adoption of different online proctoring...
Article
Educational researchers are showing a growing interest in Participatory Design (PD) and other collaborative co-design approaches. This paper considers the ways in which education researchers considering PD can benefit from drawing on the approach’s heritage in the 1970s’ Scandinavian ‘cooperative inquiry’ tradition. In particular, the paper highlig...
Article
Contemporary schooling is seen to be altering significantly in light of a combined ‘digitisation’ and ‘datafication’ of key processes. This paper examines the nature and conditions of the datafied school by exploring how a relatively prosaic and longstanding school metric (student attendance data) is being produced and used in digital form. Drawing...
Article
The past 20 years have seen the steady ‘datafication’ of school systems – i.e. the rendering of key aspects of school practice into data that is digitally collected, processed and circulated. In contrast to assumptions of ‘data-driven’ schools as sites of more efficient and automated forms of data work, this paper examines the extensive human labou...
Article
Schools now face considerable pressure to be using educational data to inform decision-making and become more efficient. Key to this rise of the ‘data-driven’ school is the increased use of digital technologies – with computer-based data processing fuelling hopes for the technology-driven ‘smart schooling’ and a general ‘datafication’ of education....
Article
This paper explores the ways in which students perceive digital technology as being helpful and/or useful to their schooling. Drawing upon survey data from students (n=1174) across three Australian high schools, the paper highlights seventeen distinct digital ‘benefits’ in domains such as information seeking, writing and composition, accessing pres...
Article
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A common recommendation in critiques of datafication in education is for greater conversation between the two sides of the (critical) divide – what might be characterised as sceptical social scientists and (supposedly) more technically-minded and enthusiastic data scientists. This article takes the form of a dialogue between two academics represent...
Article
This brief paper develops a series of provocations against the current forms of Learning Analytics that are beginning to be implemented in higher education contexts. The paper highlights a number of ways in which Learning Analytics can be experienced as discriminatory, oppressive and ultimately disadvantaging across whole student populations, and c...
Article
There is now an emerging worldwide trend for mobile phones being banned from classrooms and schools. While some academics working in the area of educational technology have raised concerns, many others have so far failed to respond to what is a significant shift in the ongoing development of digital education. The paper considers how academic resea...
Article
The ongoing ‘datafication’ of contemporary society has a number of implications for schools and schooling. One is the increasing calls for schools to help develop young people’s understandings about the role that digital data now plays in their everyday lives – especially in terms of the ‘data economy’ and ‘surveillance capitalism’. Reporting on th...
Presentation
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Digital teknologi associeras ofta med olika samhällstrender, som förändringar i arbets- och anställningsformer. Även i vissa traditionella högstatusyrken (som revisor-, advokat-och läkaryrket) tränger sig såväl digitalisering som automatisering in i det vardagliga arbetet. Nya former av digitalt arbete har uppstått som för tio år sedan skulle ha va...
Article
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This article addresses the deliberately speculative question of ‘What might the school of 2030 be like?’, with a specific focus on the influences of digital technologies. The article adopts the methodological approach of ‘social science fiction’ to explore the ways in which digital technologies might be used in one Australian high school in 2030 (L...
Preprint
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In Applied AI, or ‘machine learning’, methods such as neural networks are used to train computers to perform tasks without human intervention. In this article, we question the applicability of these methods to education. In particular, we consider a case of recent attempts from data scientists to add AI elements to a handful of online learning envi...
Article
Full-text available
In Applied AI, or ‘machine learning’, methods such as neural networks are used to train computers to perform tasks without human intervention. In this article, we question the applicability of these methods to education. In particular, we consider a case of recent attempts from data scientists to add AI elements to a handful of online learning envi...
Article
Full-text available
Facial recognition technology is now being introduced across various aspects of public life. This includes the burgeoning integration of facial recognition and facial detection into compulsory schooling to address issues such as campus security, automated registration and student emotion detection. So far, these technologies have largely been seen...
Article
This article considers growing calls for the integration of so-called ‘maker technologies’ and associated ‘maker’ practices into schools and other formal education settings. Moving on from the largely celebratory literature in this area, the article seeks to further explore the tensions between the educational potential of maker technology and the...
Article
Higher education is a distinct context in which digital media are used. As such, the use of digital media in higher education—and associated media literacy issues—certainly merit specific consideration in their own right. This entry provides an overview of the digital media that are present in contemporary higher education contexts and the media li...
Article
The capacity to understand and control one’s personal data is now a crucial part of living in contemporary society. In this sense, traditional concerns over supporting the development of ‘digital literacy’ are now being usurped by concerns over citizens’ ‘data literacies’. In contrast to recent data safety and data science approaches, this article...
Article
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Young people’s engagements with social media now generate large quantities of personal data, with “big social data” becoming an increasingly important “currency” in the digital economy. While using social media platforms is ostensibly “free,” users nevertheless “pay” for these services through their personal data—enabling advertisers, content devel...
Article
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Large amounts of personal data are generated through young people’s engagements with mobile media, with these data increasingly (re)used by advertisers, content developers and other third parties to profile, predict and position individuals. This has prompted growing concerns over the ability of mobile media users to develop informed stances toward...
Article
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Education policy increasingly takes place across borders and sectors, involving a variety of both human and nonhuman actors. This comparative policy paper traces the ‘policy mobilities,’ ‘fast policy’ processes and distributed ‘policy assemblages’ that have led to the introduction of new computer programming practices into schools and curricula in...
Article
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Social media are now an important aspect of the professional lives of school teachers. This paper explores the growing use of mass ‘teacher groups’ and ‘teacher communities’ on social media platforms such as Facebook. While these online communities are often welcomed as a means of professional learning and support, the paper considers the extent to...
Book
Today's high schools are increasingly based around the use of digital technologies. Students and teachers are encouraged to 'Bring Your Own Device', teaching takes place through 'learning management systems' and educators are rushing to implement innovations such as flipped classrooms, personalized learning, analytics and 'maker' technologies. Yet...
Article
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Digital technology is an expanding area of education policy. There is growing interest, therefore, in how networks of corporate and state policy actors implicit in the formation of (inter)national education technology agendas intersect with local school systems and teachers. In particular, this paper explores the significant policy work that takes...
Conference Paper
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Large quantities of personal data are now being generated, collated and processed through young people's uses of social media. Third parties increasingly use these data to profile, predict and position the individuals they are associated with. These developments have prompted calls for individuals to adopt more informed and critical stances toward...
Article
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The past decade has seen the expansion of personal digital technologies into schools. With many students and teachers now possessing smartphones, tablets, and laptops, schools are initiating ‘one-to-one’ and ‘Bring Your Own Device’ (BYOD) policies aiming to make use of these ‘personal devices’ in classrooms. While often discussed in terms of possib...
Preprint
The proliferation of digital technologies into schools clearly merits renewed and sustained sociological attention. This chapter outlines some of the key ways in which digital sociology can help us make better sense of contemporary school.
Article
This paper explores the ways in which digital technologies are now implicated in the work – and specifically the labour – of school teachers. Drawing upon qualitative studies in two Australian high schools, the paper examines the variety of ways in which teachers’ work is now enacted and experienced along digital lines. In particular, the paper hig...
Article
Digital fabrication and ‘3D Making’ are prominent recent additions to school curricula, hastened by the increased affordability of Computer Assisted Design software and devices such as 3D printers. It is increasingly argued that classroom use of these technologies can re-orientate schools towards forms of skills and knowledge appropriate for contem...
Article
Universities generate a mass of data related to students and the courses that they study. As such, ‘data work’ using digital technologies and digital systems is integral to educational administration within higher education. Drawing on in-depth interviews with administrative and managerial staff in an Australian university, this article examines th...
Article
Digital technologies are now an integral feature of university study. As such, academic research has tended to concentrate on the potential of digital technologies to support, extend and even ‘enhance’ student learning. This paper, in contrast, explores the rather more messy realities of students’ engagements with digital technology. In particular,...
Article
This article explores the digital technologies that taught postgraduate students engage with during their studies, what these technologies are used for and how useful they are perceived to be. The article draws upon data gathered from a survey of 253 masters and postgraduate diploma/certificate students across two universities in Australia. Analysi...
Article
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While digital technology is an integral feature of contemporary education, schools are often presumed to constrain and compromise students’ uses of technology. This paper investigates students’ experiences of school as a context for digital technology use. Drawing upon survey data from three Australian secondary schools (n = 1174), this paper consi...
Article
Large quantities of data are now being generated, collated and processed within schools through computerised systems and other digital technologies. In response to growing concerns over the efficiency and equity of how these data are used, the concept of ‘open data’ has emerged as a potential means of using digital technology to democratise data ac...
Chapter
Dystopian scenarios are used as the basis for justifying the adoption and implementations of various new technological solutions and remedies. This chapter contends that it makes sense for learning technologists to spend a little more time engaging with dystopian visions of technology and education on their own terms. Many stories focus on more soc...
Article
Wikipedia is now an established information source in contemporary society. With initial fears over its detrimental influence on scholarship and study habits now subsiding, this paper investigates what part Wikipedia plays in the academic lives of undergraduate students. The paper draws upon survey data gathered from students across two universitie...
Technical Report
This project was designed to contribute to the evidence base that identifies how technologies are actually being used successfully and effectively in universities. Specifically, this project was tasked with addressing the question ‘What Works and Why?’ Therefore, the project focused on the following key issues: ISSUE #1 - What is the current impact...
Article
Educational governance is commonly predicated around the generation, collation and processing of data through digital technologies. Drawing upon an empirical study of two Australian secondary schools, this paper explores the different forms of data-based governance that are being enacted by school leaders, managers, administrators and teachers. The...
Technical Report
Part B provides 10 Case Studies from the Office for Learning and Teaching Project - What works and Why? Understanding successful technology enabled learning within institutional contexts
Article
In 2009 we commissioned a special issue of Learning, Media & Technology to explore the issues surrounding education and social media ( … or ‘social software’ as it fleetingly was being referred to at the time). The original call for papers challenged authors to provide empirical perspectives on the emerging ‘messy realities’ of social media, learni...
Article
This short position paper reconsiders the exaggerated expectations that currently surround the social web and education within many sections of the education technology community. In particular four popular assumptions of the social web are challenged, namely: (i) expectations of enhanced participatory learning; (ii) expectations of enhanced equali...
Article
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ABSTRACT: Schools are highly regulated sites of digital technology use. This article draws upon survey data from students (n = 1174) across three Australian secondary schools, examining their experiences and perceptions of school regulation of technology use, as well as the ways in which students accommodate and/or work around such constraints. The...
Chapter
Digital technologies play a significant role in education, with students and teachers having access to a wide range of technologies to support learning and teaching. However, there are many issues related to the use of digital technologies in learning and teaching that are too frequently not addressed. This chapter considers current concerns with s...
Article
As part of the Learning, Media & Technology series on ‘Key Thinkers and Theoretical Traditions’, this paper explores the relevance of C. Wright Mills’ much lauded book ‘The Sociological Imagination’. The argument is made that we would do well to take heed of many of the central tenets of Mills’ call to arms for a historically aware, politically foc...
Article
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The much-discussed potential of ‘technology-enhanced learning’ is not always apparent in the day-to-day use of digital technology throughout higher education. Against this background, the present paper considers the digital devices and resources that students engage most frequently with during their university studies, what these technologies are b...
Article
The generation, processing and circulation of data in digital form is now an integral aspect of contemporary schooling. Based upon empirical study of two secondary school settings in Australia, this paper considers the different forms of digitally-based ‘data work’ engaged in by school leaders, managers, administrators and teachers. In particular,...
Article
Digital technologies are now an integral aspect of the university student experience. As such, academic research has understandably focused on the potential of various digital technologies to enable, extend and even ‘enhance’ student learning. This paper offers an alternate perspective on these issues by exploring students’ actual experiences of di...
Article
Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) have been a prominent topic of recent educational discussion and debate. MOOCs are, in essence, university-affiliated courses offered to large groups of online learners for little or no cost and are seen by many as a bellwether for change and reform across higher education systems. This study uses content and dis...
Article
The generation and processing of data through digital technologies is an integral element of contemporary society, as reflected in recent debates over online data privacy, ‘Big Data’ and the rise of data mining and analytics in business, science and government. This paper outlines the significance of digital data within education, arguing for incre...
Chapter
Critical analyses of technology and education appear to be enjoying a modest renaissance of late. A few conferences in this area have recently chosen “A Critical Perspective” (or similar sentiment) as their stated theme. It also seems that more articles, books, blogs, and tweets are being written by academics looking to take a critical stance on th...