“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’ […]

Making sense of work and labour in digital schools

The relationship between schools and work is a complex dynamic. On one hand, schools are seen as sites of work for teachers, students, and administrators alike. On the other hand, schools have intimate connections to the larger world of work with the responsibility of preparing future workers, responding to economic imperatives of employability and so […]

More than words – using multi-sensory methods

Like any ethnography, our project’s generation of data will centre around speaking with people, observing what they do, and reflecting on our experiences in the field. As is also the norm in ethnographic research, this data will be processed and presented in primarily written form. We intend to make full use of interview transcripts, observation […]

Exploring school surveillance in the digital age

Surveillance has become an integral part of everyday life, giving rise to talk of ‘electronic police states’ and the ‘surveillance society’ (Lyon 1994, Marx 1985). Surveillance refers typically to any systematic focus on personal information that enables public and/or private agents to influence, manage or control populations from whom the information is collected (Bennett et […]

Participatory de-sign: an idiotic approach

An implicit feature of our participatory design workshops is that they are unlikely to ‘work’. In fact, whether the workshops result in actual changes to school practices, policies and procedures is not our main concern. Instead, these are ‘provocative’ research activities intended to tease, test and problematize the structures and strictures of the digital school […]

Taking our methods for a walk

Taking a lead from social anthropology and geography, it is clear that movement and mobility are key elements of the everyday places and practices of digital education. As such, we need to engage in “the study of people and things in movement” (Pink 2012, p.32). This is a research project that cannot be static or […]

Why this needs to be a live(ly) study

The fast-moving nature of digital education invites us to think expansively and imaginatively about how we ‘do’ our research. This chimes with a growing appetite within the social sciences for a renewal and revitalisation of method. Put bluntly, it is becoming increasingly apparent that social research needs to look well beyond the survey, interview and […]