Digitalisation in Education, Allusions and References

  • Marianna Vivitsou Faculty of Educational Sciences, University of Helsinki, Finland
Keywords: narrative, digitalisation, education, UNESCO working papers, hybrid/blended learning environments, direct/indirect reference


The metaphor of digitalisation in education emerged during a period when phenomena such as budget cuts and privatisation, layoffs and outsourcing of labour marked the ethos of the twenty-first century. During this time, digitalisation was constructed as an ultimate purpose and an all-encompassing matter in education. As a result, these narratives add new configurations to the metaphor of digitalisation on an ongoing basis. Such configurations attribute a mythical fullness to the concept, in the sense that digitalisation goes beyond the limits of a property that needs be developed so that society can successfully deal with contemporary challenges and advancements. In this way, digitalisation emerges as a new hegemony in education, with narratives that are more and less directly referential. Less direct references add the element of allusion to the metaphor of digitalisation, in the sense that references can be more implicit/covert or even concealed/hidden. Moreover, as they combine with abstract terms and concepts, they make the boundaries of the technological and educational domains blurry and render education discourse vague.  In order to examine the narratives of digitalisation and how they influence education discourse, this study aims to discuss and analyse relevant policy documents in relation to research and studies on the integration of digital technologies in classroom settings and the hybrid (or blended) learning environments that open up. For this purpose, the study uses thematic analysis and discourse analysis in order to trace allusions and references and discuss how emergent meanings relate to current and future needs in education generated by digitalisation itself.


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