The Discourse of EdTech

The field of educational media – or educational technology (edtech) – is rife with euphoric statements about the potential of “new” media to revolutionise education. At the same time, there are widespread fears about the influence of these media on children and young people. The “Discourse of EdTech” project analyses contemporary discourse about digital educational media using an array of discourse analytical tools, including critical discourse analysis, corpus linguistics and ethnographic approaches. Focus lies on EU and national policy texts, scholarly publications, journalism and social media. This document analysis is flanked by interviews with edtech developers, data scientists, designers, publishers and policy makers in Germany and North America. Analysis zooms in on central concepts in the field today, such as disruption, interactivity, personalization, big data, and revolution. The goal is to tease out tensions and ambivalences in both the euphoric and cataclysmic discourse, and to identify what kinds of priorities, axiologies and cosmologies are generated when talking and writing about edtech today.

During the Corona pandemic in 2020, the project was extended to observe and analyse the public discourse about education, digital technology and "home schooling"