This article provides a critical study of the ambivalent nature of educational technology. Departing from the fact that the contemporary classroom is no longer a bounded and discrete space, the article uses ethnographic participant observation to provide thick descriptions of technologies-in-use at a Danish business college. These observations suggest that educational technologies play much more nuanced roles than hitherto imagined. Building on the notion of spatial imaginaries, the article explores two complementary patterns of spatial relations in the classroom: Educational technologies open a gateway to the world that can be used both to bring relevant information into the space of the classroom (“outside-in”) and to escape educational activities in favor of off-task activity (“inside-out”). By exploring these twin movements, this article hopes not only to provide a glimpse into the 21st-century digitized classroom but also to showcase the uneasy position of educational technology between burden and blessing.
Aagaard, J. (2017). Breaking down barriers: The ambivalent nature of technologies in the classroom. New Media & Society, 19(7), 1127-1143.