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Appears in Collections:Faculty of Social Sciences Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: Governing software: networks, databases and algorithmic power in the digital governance of public education
Author(s): Williamson, Ben
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Keywords: algorithms
big data
digital governance
learning analytics
Issue Date: 2015
Citation: Williamson B (2015) Governing software: networks, databases and algorithmic power in the digital governance of public education, Learning, Media and Technology, 40 (1), pp. 83-105.
Abstract: This article examines the emergence of ‘digital governance’ in public education in England. Drawing on and combining concepts from software studies, policy and political studies, it identifies some specific approaches to digital governance facilitated by network-based communications and database-driven information processing software that are being discursively promoted in education by cross-sectoral intermediary organizations. Such intermediaries, including National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts, Demos, the Innovation Unit, the Education Foundation and the Nominet Trust, are increasingly seeking to participate in new digitally mediated forms of educational governance. Through their promotion of network-based pedagogies and database-driven analytics software, these organizations are seeking to delegate educational decision-making to socio-algorithmic forms of power that have the capacity to predict, govern and activate learners' capacities and subjectivities.
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Rights: © 2014 The Author(s). Published by Taylor & Francis. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. The moral rights of the named author(s) have been asserted. Permission is granted subject to the terms of the License under which the work was published. Please check the License conditions for the work which you wish to reuse. Full and appropriate attribution must be given. This permission does not cover any third party copyrighted material which may appear in the work requested. This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis Group in Learning, Media and Technology on 09/06/2014, available online at:

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