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Platforms, perceptions, and privacy: ethical implications of student conflation of educational technologies

Spencer P. Greenhalgh (School of Information Science, College of Communication and Information, University of Kentucky, Lexington, Kentucky, USA)
Daniela K. DiGiacomo (School of Information Science, College of Communication and Information, University of Kentucky, Lexington, Kentucky, USA)
Sarah Barriage (School of Information Science, College of Communication and Information, University of Kentucky, Lexington, Kentucky, USA)

Information and Learning Sciences

ISSN: 2398-5348

Article publication date: 27 September 2023

Issue publication date: 6 November 2023

190

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine how higher education students think about educational technologies they have previously used – and the implications of this understanding for their awareness of datafication and privacy issues in a postsecondary context.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors conducted two surveys about students’ experience with the ClassDojo platform during their secondary education. In both surveys, the authors included a question asking students to identify which ClassDojo-like platform they used in school. For this study, the authors examined responses to these screening questions, identifying the technologies that responses referred to and sorting technologies into categories.

Findings

Students identified a wide range of technologies when prompted to identify a technology similar to ClassDojo. Many responses suggested students have a broad, monolithic understanding of educational technology. This suggests the prevalence of a utilitarian tool perspective (rather than a platform perspective) that may be entrenched by the time that students reach higher education, hampering efforts to inform and educate them in that context.

Originality/value

To the best of the authors’ knowledge, there are few studies of students’ conflation of educational technologies in the extant literature. Furthermore, the platform perspective emphasized in this manuscript remains relatively rare in many fields associated with educational technology.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

Funding: This project was supported by funding from the University of Kentucky College of Communication and Information Research Activities fund.

Citation

Greenhalgh, S.P., DiGiacomo, D.K. and Barriage, S. (2023), "Platforms, perceptions, and privacy: ethical implications of student conflation of educational technologies", Information and Learning Sciences, Vol. 124 No. 9/10, pp. 247-265. https://doi.org/10.1108/ILS-03-2023-0030

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2023, Emerald Publishing Limited

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