Digital technology as a trigger for learning: promises and realities




Educational Technologies, technological solutionism, critical technology, persuasive technology.


In the last fitty years, the remarkable development of digital technology, that has permeated practically all social, economic and cultural, political and technological realms is producing several phenomena that have a direct impact in education. In this paper, I discuss first, the fact that more and more we refer to digital technology as just ‘technology”, as if the rest of the many organizational, symbolic, artefactual and biotechnological developments were something “natural”. Second, I refer to the rise and spread of technological solutionism in education and a growing discourse that sees every new digital technology as the arrival of the Promised Land, as the panacea to solve the problems of education. I go on analysing the collateral effects of this discourse in the educational practice, with an especial reference to persuasive technologies and Big Data. The article concludes with the request and the need for researchers, practitioners and education policy makers to avoid the temptation to solve a deeply "wicked" problem such as education with simple solutions.

Author Biography

Juana M. Sancho -Gil, University of Barcelona Department of Didactics and Educational Management P. Vall d'Hebron, 171 08035 Barcelona

Emeritus full professor of Educational Technologies.


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