Digital data and the post-pandemic university | code acts in education
Morceaux choisis :
High-tech HE visions have materialised most spectacularly in the rapid growth of the educational technology industry and its financial sponsors. The education market intelligence agency HolonIQ recently identified and taxonomised hundreds of edtech suppliers serving every conceivable task or activity of higher education in a soc-called Global Learning Landscape, and estimated edtech to be worth hundreds of billions of dollars.
A market intel agency like this does two things. It attracts customer attention, like an online recommendation engine for ‘what works’ in higher education ‘digital capability’. And it attracts venture capital and private equity in products that can deliver profitable return on investment. In other words, market intel makes edtech markets by convincing customers that digital solutions will solve their problems, and by building up the financial power of the industry that provides technological solutions to them.
A key question surfaced by the edtech emergency is what values and purposes were pursued in this experiment? Yes, values of equality, access, fairness and quality education for all became key issues, particularly to address digital inequalities and ensure educational continuity for millions. But this was coupled with private interests such as securing market share, competitive advantage, and return on investment. The issue is whether these private interests support the public values, ideals and common goods of education by offering temporary ‘relief’ from the catastrophe, or whether they are actually motivated to ‘reconstruct’ higher education for the long term in ways that reflect private agendas.