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One to One goes to school: The mediatization of education and the forming of media citizenship
Södertörn University, School of Culture and Education, Media and Communication Studies.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-8669-5752
2016 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Over the last few decades the Swedish K12 system has undergone a series of implementations of new information and communication technology [ICT] (Hylén 2011, Söderlund 2000). One current aspect of this structural transformation are projects with so called One to One (1:1), meaning that teachers and students alike get their personal laptop or tablet computer to use for daily work inside/outside school.

The roots of the 1:1 movement are American but it hit Sweden about 10 years ago, and has since then been well documented and discussed (Fleischer 2013, Grönlund 2014, Kroksmark 2013, Tallvid 2015). One dimension of the 1.1 advocacy are some very influential politico- economical actors packaging the One to One-venture in claims about the relentlessness of digitalization and the benefits (even magic) of educational technologies as problem solution and the necessary road ahead. Often this discourse is linked to OECD-statistics and an urge for a development of “objective indicators of digital competency”, combined with strains of “progressive pedagogics” and notions of multimodality and formative learning (Hattie 2012, Kress 2010). Among the buzzwords one finds: digital natives, network society, communica- tion, innovation, digital literacy, participatory media and life long learning.

Concurrent with this top-down implementation of digital media into the everyday life of the Swedish school system there is another process of digitalization and mediatization that is more of bottom-up; as students and their teachers are increasingly dependent on and tethered to ubiquitous media services (c.f. Turkle 2011) in their everyday life, also when it comes to

learning or teaching duties. It is thus accurate to say that the Swedish school system of today is “moulded by the media” (Hepp 2013) and that “media is everywhere” and “everything is media” (c.f. Deuze 2012, Livingstone 2009, 2015) also in this section of everyday life in con- temporary society (Kaun & Fast 2014),.

Schools have always been media spaces (c.f. Couldry & McCarthy 2004) and teaching and learning are inexorably linked to different forms of media technologies. It is also well known that the relations between media use for formal educational purposes inside school (books, black boards etc.) and children’s optional usage of media and popular culture outside school is a complex matter (Buckingham 2007, Drotner 2008, Hall & Whannel 1964, Postman 1993). Still, my point not is to position different media technologies and media cultures in relation to each other, nor to contribute to the ongoing pedagogical discussion about “digital literacy”, but rather to discuss how media technologies and the preconceptions surrounding them constitutes a “cultural technology” (Bolin 2012, Miller 2007, Winthrop Young 2013) for fostering not only labor and consumers but also what I refer to as “media citizens (c.f. Dahlgren 2011, Schudson 1999).

It is in order to understand and historicise this process that I enter the terrain of mediatization theory (Hepp & Krotz 2014 Hjarvard 2013, Lundby 2014). I start my paper by discussing mediatization both as a general “meta-process” (Krotz 2007) and as something with specifici- ty within the educational system (Breiter 2014). I then relate this to some of the critique that has been directed towards the current digitalization of education − for propagating a neoliber- al and instrumental view on education that makes schools financially and pedagogically de- pendent on corporations like Google, Apple, Intel etc. and others within the growing edu-tech industry (Buckingham 2007, Selwyn 2014).

Hereby I want to address digitalization of education as a formal and an informal re- conceptualization of the curriculum; not only understood as steering documents but as a pre- vailing logic and undercurrent (Popkewitz 2015) with implications for the fostering a new form of media citizen (Bennet 2008, Hartley 2010, Mihailidis 2014, Ratto & Bohler 2014).

In the final part of my paper I link this discussion to some empirical findings made within a EU-financed school development project, where teacher’s in one Swedish and one German school simultaneously made the shift to 1:1, and where the logics of mediatization and a new understanding of teaching, learning and media citizenship was noticeable.

References

Bennett, W Lance (2008), ”Changing citizenship in the digital age”, Civic Life Online, Cambridge: MIT Press Bolin, Göran (2012) (ed.). Cultural technology. The shaping of culture in media and society, New York:

Routledge.Breiter, Andreas (2014). ”Schools as mediatized worlds”. In Hepp, A. & Krotz F (eds.). Mediatized Worlds.

Culture and Society in a Media Age, London: Palgrave & Macmillan.Buckingham, David (2000). After the death of childhood. Growing up in the age of electronic media, Cam-

bridge: Polity Press.Buckingham, David (2007). Beyond technology. Children ́s learning in the age of digital culture, Cambridge:

Polity Press.Couldry, Nick & Anna McCarthy (2004). MediaSpace: place, scale and culture in a media age, London:

Routledge, 2004.Dahlgren, P (2011). “Mediated Citizenships: power, practices, and identities “, Int. J. Electronic Governance,

Vol. 4, Nos. 1/2 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016.
Keywords [en]
mediatization, citizenship, one to one
National Category
Media and Communications
Research subject
Critical and Cultural Theory
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-34136OAI: oai:DiVA.org:sh-34136DiVA, id: diva2:1173672
Conference
Critical mediatization research. Power, inequality and social change in a mediatized age, Bremen, Aug 30 to Sept. 1, 2016
Projects
Education the media citizen and the mediatization of school: curricula, teaching materials, teacher education
Funder
Riksbankens Jubileumsfond, P15-0304:1Available from: 2018-01-12 Created: 2018-01-12 Last updated: 2018-01-15Bibliographically approved

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Citation style
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