background writing

recommendations for policymakers?

One of the aims of any piece of academic research is to inform policy. We were asked recently to do just that … so here are some of our immediate thoughts on what policy messages are coming from our research so far. If we were the Minister for Education in the Australian Federal government we […]

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 […]

Developing a whole school perspective

The preoccupation of education researchers with matters of learning and teaching is odd when considering what people actually do at/for school. As soon as one starts observing what occurs in a school it becomes apparent that teachers only spend a fraction of their time actually teaching. Similarly, students spend little of their time actually studying, […]

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, […]

Left to their own devices: the everyday realities of ‘one-to-one’ and ‘BYOD’ schools

<abstract for special issue of Oxford Review of Education> One significant change to schools over the past decade has been the increasing prevalence of personal digital technologies in classrooms and across campuses. In part this is a result of increased smartphone, tablet and laptop ownership amongst many students and teachers. Schools have also initiated official […]

Schools in the digital age – what is to be done?

Any assessment of the ‘messy’ state of schools and digital technology is bound to be a frustrating exercise. The immediate reaction of many readers of our research is likely to be a combination of disappointment, dissatisfaction and demand for action. ‘So how might things be improved?’. ‘What needs to change?’. ‘What exactly would you do […]

Writing and re-writing

While we are not even halfway through the empirical stages of the project, we are now well into the thinking/making sense/developing ‘findings’ phase. Keep an eye on the ‘Project Outputs’ tab for details for what is being produced … but bear in mind that this is an iterative process. Today’s great piece of writing always […]

News media coverage

Our first wave of data analysis from the student survey (initially focusing on students’ experiences of school rules and regulations) was featured in a piece in The Age newspaper this weekend (15th August). These headlines are taken from a paper that we will be presenting at the 2016 AERA conference in Washington DC. The online […]

3D printers in the classroom

Digital fabrication and ‘3D Making’ technologies are a prominent recent addition to many secondary schools, hastened by the increased affordability of Computer Assisted Design software and devices such as 3D printers, e-textiles and microprocessors. One of the digital devices that we have been coming across in our study schools is the ‘UP Plus’ 3D printer […]

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 […]