The Code Acts in Education research program explores how computer code is interwoven with educational processes, institutions, and practices. It  seeks to understand how code, and the software algorithms and digital data practices it enables, are shaping how, when and where learning takes place – in the classroom, the university, the professional workplace, and throughout the lifecourse. As on ongoing program of research led by Ben Williamson at the University of Stirling, it has generated a series of themes and publications focusing on:

  • Digital data systems including visualization and analytics in education policy
  • The rise of the ‘learning to code’ and ‘digital makers’ movement
  • The implications of technologies of the ‘quantified self’ for education
  • The role of education in computational ‘smart cities’
  • The implications of social media and big data for professional learning
  • The growth of a new interdisciplinary field of ‘educational data science’
  • The role of infrastructures in educational knowledge production
  • ‘Openness’ as a way of organizing educational resources
  • Teacher ‘automation’ through analytics and bots
  • The role of new actors such as innovation labs in the digitization of education

A free-to-access e-book entitled Coding/Learning: Software and digital data in education provides introductory readings to these key areas of ongoing inquiry, and key papers and presentations are also available from researchers associated with the program.

The program of research was initially funded as a seminar series by the Economic and Social Research Council (grant reference: ES/L001160/1) from 2013-2015, organized by researchers at the University of Stirling and University of Edinburgh schools of education. The series aimed to set the stage for new research and new innovations exploring the emerging interdependencies between code and education, and brought together researchers from social science, humanities and computer science disciplines, along with educators and organizations involved in digital making and computing in education. This site features material generated during the series, plus updates on ongoing activities emerging from it.



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