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Media and Education in the Digital Age

Concepts, Assessments, Subversions

Edited By Matteo Stocchetti

This book is an invitation to informed and critical participation in the current debate on the role of digital technology in education and a comprehensive introduction to the most relevant issues in this debate. After an early wave of enthusiasm about the emancipative opportunities of the digital «revolution» in education, recent contributions invite caution, if not scepticism. This collection rejects extreme interpretations and establishes a conceptual framework for the critical questioning of this role in terms of concepts, assessments and subversions. This book offers conceptual tools, ideas and insights for further research. It also provides motivation and information to foster active participation in debates and politics and encourages teachers, parents and learners to take part in the making of the future of our societies.
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This volume is the first book length publication of the research programme Media and Education in the Digital Age – MEDA.

MEDA is an interdisciplinary research programme whose main goal is to support the circulation of critical knowledge about the educational role of digital technology. It should be clear that MEDA does not promote the use or the rejection of digital technology. Rather it promotes a critical attitude towards the values, goals and ultimately pedagogical projects that inspire its usages in education. In this endeavour, MEDA shares many of the assumptions, interests, intellectual goals and conceptual tools of the critical traditions that pays attention to the changes affecting education as part of a larger reflection on the nature and direction of social change.

The notion of ‘critical’ that inspires the work and ambitions of MEDA includes at least three features: first an explicit attention to the relations of power implied, reproduced, challenged or otherwise associated with the uses of digital technologies in education. Second, sensitivity towards the idea that the study of social phenomena is not detached from but very much part of and actually influential upon the phenomena investigated. Finally, the normative commitment to the idea that improvement in education should be defined in relation to a notion of the ‘individual’ as a value in herself and independently from other configurations instrumentally associated with this notion in the economic, political or religious domains.

A number of friends and colleagues have supported this project in several ways. In particular I here gladly acknowledge a debt of gratitude toward, Ana Bermejillo Ibanez and Emiliano Blasco Doñamayor, Universidad San Pablo, Madrid (Spain), Belinha De Abreu, Fairfield University, Connecticut (USA), Jarkko Häutamäki, University of Helsinki (Finland), Alexandra Juhasz, Pitzer College in Claremont, California (USA), Reijo Kupiainen, University of Tampere (Finland), Guy Merchant, Sheffield Hallam University (UK), Nigel Kimberly and Jan-Anders Ray, Arcada University of Applied Sciences in Helsinki (Finland).