Three decades into the ‘digital age’, the promises of emancipation of the digital ‘revolution’ in education are still unfulfilled. Furthermore, digitalization seems to generate new and unexpected challenges – for example, the unwarranted influence of digital monopolies, the radicalization of political communication, and the facilitation of mass surveillance, to name a few.
This volume is a study of the downsides of digitalization and the re-organization of the social world that seems to be associated with it. In a critical perspective, technological development is not a natural but a social process: not autonomous from but very much dependent upon the interplay of forces and institutions in society. While influential forces seek to establish the idea that the practices of formal education should conform to technological change, here we support the view that education can challenge the capitalist appropriation of digital technology and, therefore, the nature and direction of change associated with it.
This volume offers its readers intellectual prerequisites for critical engagement. It addresses themes such as Facebook’s response to its democratic discontents, the pedagogical implications of algorithmic knowledge and quantified self, as well as the impact of digitalization on academic profession. Finally, the book offers some elements to develop a vision of the role of education: what should be done in education to address the concerns that new communication technologies seem to pose more risks than opportunities for freedom and democracy.
Matteo Stocchetti (PhD) is Senior Lecturer at Arcada University of Applied Science and Docent in Political Communication at University of Helsinki and Åbo Akademi University. The contributors of the volume include international experts on critical approaches to pedagogy, education and technology.
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Summary: Digital technologies are impacting every aspect of our lives, as also demonstrated by the current COVID-19 pandemic that forced us behind a screen for work, relational and also educational activities, thus increasing their consumption. Besides the opportunities offered by these technologies, several drawbacks are associated with their use related either to the consequence of the interaction with devices (in particular with the interactive screen use) and the (hidden) ideological content of media. In this context, The Digital Age and Its Discontents: Critical Reflections in Education offers an insight about the role of formal education in counteracting the downsides of digitalization and its ideology, proposing intellectual tools for educators and researchers. This book provides a deep reflection on the digital technologies innovation and the discontent it created from different (intertwining) perspectives. The role of education is to address the issues raised by the integration of new emerging technologies, through a critical approach towards digital literacy and education.
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Stuart R. Poyntz
Summary: Stocchetti’s collection is addressed to critical scholars, graduate students and others interested in work that aims to reimagine higher learning and institutional change through a critique of capitalism and the search for democratic alternatives. A focus on specific projects, actions and resources helps to ground this vision, and educators and others working in teaching communities will find these elements to be highlights of the book
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Stocchetti, M. (ed.) 2020. The Digital Age and Its Discontents: Critical Reflections in Education. Helsinki: Helsinki University Press. DOI: https://doi.org/10.33134/HUP-4
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Published on Aug. 11, 2020