areas of inquiry

Personal preferences …

Within any ‘BYOD’ class there is wide variation in the quality of students’ engagement with devices – something that is not immediately apparent when observing classes. In a mass of twenty-five students, one device quickly begins to resemble another. Yet the capacity of each individual student’s device can be dramatically different. Take the example of […]

New surveillance technologies

New surveillance technologies are gaining a foothold in both social and private contexts. Not only do these technologies have the capacity to probe “more deeply, widely and softly” than traditional modes of surveillance, they can also break down natural (distance, time, skin) and synthetic (walls) barriers that, in the past, offered protection to personal information […]

Digital affect

The emergence of internet technologies is a significant influence on student experiences of school. One notable shift is how affects circulate between student bodies in the online/offline spaces that constitute the contemporary school. Now the dominant internet-based platforms and applications in a school (most commonly ‘Learning Management Systems’, email, and educational apps) profoundly shape the […]

Dataveillance and the digital school

The past decade has seen rapid growth in “new” surveillance technologies in public schools. Students and teachers now find themselves under continuous watch, with (in)dividualized data and information captured and circulated inside *and* outside of school amongst a variety of (un)known actors. Although there is increasing academic debate devoted to surveillance technology as an educational phenomenon, […]

Surveillance in-school?

Surveillance processes and practices are embeded in many public schools. A common form of school surveillance is the use of CCTV (closed circuit television) cameras which are said to act as deterrents. CCTV cameras – both old and new – are visible in all three schools, signalling to those who enter these environments that they […]

Transversing time (zones) and space

Sitting on the train on the way home from work, a young woman sat down opposite me with no handbag, but she held in her hands two smartphones – one in each hand. One was a HTC and the other had a cover over it so I was unable to identify it. Clothed in a […]

Rhizomatic networks

Scholars have claimed that in a network society surveillance has become post-panoptic. Arguing that Foucault’s conceptualization of surveillance fails to engage directly with contemporary developments in surveillance practices, Haggerty and Ericson (2000) draw on the theoretical framework of Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari. They use the rhizome to explain two primary characteristics of the surveillant […]

Communicative disruptions

Media can be used in various ways, and particular forms of media are shaped by the ways that people use them for communication. New media is always closely intertwined with communication and/or technology, and is an assemblage of some sort. I currently sit in some junior secondary classrooms to observe as a researcher and am […]

Desktop configuration

  As part of many schools’ ‘one-to-one’ programs, students are loaned their ‘own’ devices during their time at school. Various aspects of these devices can be configured by the student – such as screensavers, backgrounds and other ‘personal system preferences’. At the same time, these devices are also used to configure the students, with standardized […]

Digitising student engagement: A logic of learning or a logic of control?

Commonly accepted as an essential prerequisite for academic success, student engagement continues to be a preoccupation of mainstream discourses at all levels of education (e.g., Gourlay, 2015; Coates, 2010; Prensky, 2010; Kuh, 2009). The dominant conception of engagement aligns around cognitive, behavioural, and affective dimensions. Cognitive engagement is the most difficult to pin down, but […]

Digging the dirt

We tend to think of digital technologies in pristine, clean, idealized terms. Much of the immediate allure of any newly purchased digital device stems from the shiny surfaces and smooth contours – an assemblage of tempered glass, brushed aluminum and toughened plastics. The fact that we continue to imagine digital devices in these ‘box fresh’ terms means that it […]

“Present, miss!” and (always) online

The structures and constructs of time have always governed how schools operate. Timetables, bells, commencement dates, holidays, schedules, and diaries are all examples of how schools and schooling have been fairly rigid and structured. Schools have been predicated by these particular rhythms of time, i.e. being ‘present’. Teachers regularly state there is not enough ‘time’ […]