After seeing The Platform Society chapter I decided to track what platforms I am using this week. I have only tracked when I was at my desk and only recorded the platforms I engaged with most. Nonetheless, my visualisation shows how often I rely on using various platforms on a daily basis.
Van Dijck et al. (2018) highlight the potential implications of platformisation on education. With increasingly powerful tech companies, there are fears that education will be more and more governed by big corporations, ‘propelled by algorithmic architectures and business models’.
Platformisation and increased use of technologies in education also raises issues of privacy and surveillance. Being constantly monitored can have an impact on both students and teachers. As surfaced in Brown (2020), dashboards, for example, may have an impact on instructors’ pedagogical strategies.
COVID-19 is likely to have exacerbated the issue of platformisation as the educational technology sector is one of the few industries to profit from the pandemic. Dominated by powerful technical platforms, public education could see long-term consequences as state governance becomes less significant (Williamson et al. 2020). Adopting technologies without challenging the motives of big corporations could see global commercial platforms being incorporated into public education which, in turn, may be a risk to education as a public good (ibid. 2020).
Technologies and practices that were introduced during the pandemic are often regarded as emergency or temporary measures, however, some researchers point out that ‘[a]s these tools become rooted in teaching practice, it will become difficult to go back’ (Teräs et al. 2020, p.870).
My visualisation only shows a fraction of what a machine could have recorded but it nonetheless gives an insight into how entwined various platforms and our daily lives are.
Brown, M. 2020. Seeing students at scale: how faculty in large lecture courses act upon learning analytics dashboard data. Teaching in Higher Education, 25(4), pp. 384-400.
Teräs, M., Suoranta, J., Teräs, H. & Curcher M. (2020). Post-Covid-19 Education and Education Technology ‘Solutionism’: a Seller’s Market. Postdigital Science and Education, 2,863–878.
van Dijck, J., Poell, T., & de Waal, M. (2018). Chapter 6: Education, In The Platform Society, Oxford University Press.
Williamson, B. Eynon, R. & Potter, J. (2020). Pandemic politics, pedagogies and practices: digital technologies and distance education during the coronavirus emergency. Learning, Media and Technology, 45:2, 107-114.