- 17 May 2021
- Journal article
Covid-19 controversies and critical research in digital education
- Learning, Media and Technology
If financial markets are taken as the main measure of the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on education since early 2020, then education technology (‘edtech’) has finally arrived with disruptive and transformative force in education systems around the world. With reports of over $16billion USD venture capital investment in edtech in 2020 alone, and spectacular valuation claims of prospective returns to come, financial investors and edtech companies are not just seeking to increase their profit margins, but investing in ‘a vision to transform how the world learns’ (HolonIQ 2021). These are new speculative ‘investments in forms’ of unique digital education (Decuypere, Grimaldi, and Landri 2021) that produce digital assets promising generous prospective market returns (Komljenovic 2021). For financial specialists, the disruptions of Covid-19 have inspired a ‘digital transformation’ of education, at all levels, and they are investing further to fully realize this valuable vision of the future of post-pandemic education. In other words, through speculative financial valuations and market-making devices, investors are ‘betting upon and hedging against future educational developments … and even shorting educational futures’ in the pursuit of ‘wealth extraction’ (Facer 2021, 6).
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Williamson, B., Macgilchrist, F. & Potter, J. 2021, 'Covid-19 controversies and critical research in digital education', Learning, Media and Technology, 46(2), pp. 117-127. https://doi.org/10.1080/17439884.2021.1922437