I’m pleased to be presenting at a symposium titled Critical Pedagogies: Equality and Diversity in a Changing Institution, in Edinburgh in September. I’m going to speak about “Educational technology and the enclosure of academic labour inside public higher education”. My presentation links to the following symposium topics:
- Teaching within and beyond the classroom space; teaching as activism; virtual learning environments;
- Effects of neoliberal policies and philosophies in institutional life; Education as commodity.
Abstract: across higher education in the United Kingdom, the procurement and deployment of educational technology increasingly impacts the practices of academic labour, in terms of administration, teaching and research. Moreover the relationships between academic labour and educational technology are increasingly framed inside the practices of neoliberal, transnational activist networks, which are re-defining UK higher education as a new model public service. This paper highlights the mechanisms through which educational technologies are used to control, enclose and commodify academic labour. At issue is whether academics and academic staff developers have a critical or ethical lens through which to critique the nature of the technologies that they use and re-purpose inside the University, and whether such a critique might enable technologies to be deployed for the production of socially-useful knowledge, or knowing, beyond monetization in the knowledge economy.