Moving beyond the predictable failure of Ed-Tech initiatives

Juana M. Sancho-Gil, Pablo Rivera-Vargas, Raquel Miño-Puigcercós

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    8 Citations (Scopus)


    The development of Information and Communication Technology has created waves of excitement about its power to fix educational problems and improve learning results, prompting a succession of policy efforts to integrate digital technology into education. Educators, schools and corporations are increasingly driving these initiatives. This article makes the argument that a narrow vision of digital technology, which both ignores the complexity of education and wastes valuable public resources, is becoming an obstacle to significant improvement and transformation in education. Utilising our research and experience in the field of educational technology, this paper problematises the common elision of ‘technology’ and ‘digital technology’. From this basis, we then critically reflect on various common approaches to introducing digital technology in education under the guise of promoting equality and digital inclusion. These include national government-led programmes, more recent trends for local school-led initiatives, and the role of non-formal education initiatives led by corporations/foundations. Amidst the varying surface-level ‘failure’ and/or ‘success’ of these approaches, we point to limited underpinning ‘information and knowledge society’ logics in framing the application of digital technology to education. As such we conclude by considering the educational challenges for future Ed-Tech initiatives.

    Original languageEnglish
    JournalLearning, Media and Technology
    Publication statusPublished - 18 Sep 2019


    • digital technology corporations
    • educational challenges
    • Educational change
    • educational policies
    • school improvement

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Education
    • Media Technology


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