Towards platform pedagogies: why thinking about digital platforms as pedagogic devices might be useful

This article has just been published in Discourse: Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education. It is available here.

It argues that in a context where current forms of governance and polity across many societies are engaging with ‘platformisation’, the paper argues that the utility and consequences of using a theory of pedagogy can provide a different way to explain how digital technology might ‘determine’ subjectivity. The paper describes the key process of how platforms work when considered as a ‘pedagogic device’: paying particular attention to how users ‘learn’ or are ‘subjected’ to norms and behaviours. I outline three key dimensions of pedagogicisation, textualisation, templatisation and trainability arguing that digital platforms suggest an eternal process of school enrolment – a classroom we can never leave, a form of certification to which we aspire. To rework Plantin, J. C., Lagoze, C., Edwards, P., & Sandvig, C. [(2018). Infrastructure studies meet platform studies in the age of Google and Facebook. New Media and Society, 20(1), 293–310.] formulation, it articulates a platformisation of pedagogy as much as a pedagogicisation of platforms thus concluding how the process of platformisation itself is part of a wider inscription into forms of pedagogic authority.

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