Author Archives: Ben Williamson

Datafication and automation in higher education during and after the Covid-19 crisis

Ben Williamson Notes for a talk at the online webinar ‘Going Online During and After the Pandemic’ on 6 May 2020. Thanks to Mariya Ivancheva and Brian Garvey for the invitation.  Over the last five years or so, data analytics … Continue reading

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Edtech, coronavirus, and commercialization in public education

Ben Williamson While the opening months of 2020 have been marked by huge disruptions to education at an international scale, some organizations have thrived during the coronavirus pandemic. According to the education markets consultancy HolonIQ, the first three months of … Continue reading

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New pandemic edtech power networks

Ben Williamson Mass closures of schools and universities plus rapid switches to remote online teaching and learning around the world have empowered technology vendors and promoters to position themselves as frontline emergency response providers during the current coronavirus outbreak. In … Continue reading

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Emergency edtech

Ben Williamson Education institutions around the world are switching to ‘remote’ teaching and learning, and the education technology industry is generously offering its products to support them in the current emergency. To a significant extent, the emergency edtech response is … Continue reading

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Re-engineering education

The Chan-Zuckerberg Initiative, for-profit philanthropy and experimental precision education Ben Williamson Many new parents announce the birth of a child on Facebook. Mark Zuckerberg took it a step further, announcing in a December 2015 ‘letter to our daughter‘ that he … Continue reading

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Platform teachers

Ben Williamson The massive multinational platform company Amazon has announced a new service allowing teachers to sell lesson plans and classroom resources to other teachers. The service, Amazon Ignite, is moving into a space where Teachers Pay Teachers and TES … Continue reading

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Psychodata

Ben Williamson ‘Social and emotional learning’ (SEL) has become one of the most active topics in education policy and practice over the last few years. At an international scale, the OECD is about to run its new Study on Social … Continue reading

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EdTech Resistance

Ben Williamson Prepared for EdTech KnowHow conference, Stavanger, Norway, 26 September 2019 One month ago I set a Twitter mob against a team of young researchers working on a new education technology prototype at a major university in the United … Continue reading

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Automating mistrust

Ben Williamson Turnitin can now analyse students’ individual writing styles to tackle ‘contract cheating’. Image by Xavi The acquisition of plagiarism detection company Turnitin for US$1.75 billion, due to be completed later this year, demonstrates how higher education has become … Continue reading

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Learning from surveillance capitalism

Ben Williamson Surveillance capitalism combines data analytics, business strategy, and human behavioural experimentation. Image: “Fraction collector” by proteinbiochemist ‘Surveillance capitalism’ has become a defining concept for the current era of smart machines and Silicon Valley expansionism. With educational institutions and practices increasingly … Continue reading

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