Author Archives: Ben Williamson

Higher education platforms and cloud infrastructures in the ‘dataist state’

Ben Williamson Prepared for the Centre for Global Higher Education research seminar Student learning in the midst of the pandemic: the case of the UK, 10 November 2020 Privately-owned digital platforms have become integral to societies and public life, and … Continue reading

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Digital data and the post-pandemic university

Ben Williamson Prepared for the QAA Scotland Enhancement Themes 2020 conference on 3 November 2020 Digital data technologies are at the centre of many current controversies. From Airbnb driving up over-tourism and property prices, to Twitter taking measures to reduce … Continue reading

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Edtech index investing

Ben Williamson While schools were closed for much of the year, new market opportunities were opening up for education technology investors. The investment bank BMO Capital Markets predicted potential market growth early. ‘While we are uncomfortable citing “winners” in the coronavirus situation, … Continue reading

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The social life of Artificial Intelligence in education

Ben Williamson Artificial Intelligence (AI) has become the subject of both hype and horror in education. During the 2020 Covid-19 pandemic, AI in education (AIed) attracted serious investor interest, market speculation, and enthusiastic technofuturist predictions. At the same time,  algorithms … Continue reading

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The evolution of the global education industry during the pandemic

Ben Williamson & Anna Hogan Through the ‘pivot’ to ‘online learning’ and ‘emergency remote teaching’ during the Covid-19 emergency, educational technology (edtech) has become integral to education globally, with private sector and commercial organizations developing central roles in essential educational … Continue reading

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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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