chapter  Chapter One
4 Pages

Introduction

WithNeil Selwyn

As Langdon Winner observes, the bulk of technological change in society has occurred in a social and intellectual vacuum — and it would seem that the rise of educational technology has been no different. Since the microcomputer’s introduction into school and university classrooms towards the end of the 1970s, academic research into education and technology has often presented little more than an uncritical reflection of societal faith in technology. As J. Kenway concludes, social science research in this area has often been too ‘micro-focused’, with a ‘wilful blindness’ to the social and cultural contexts and wider implications of technology. One particular symptom of this wilful blindness is manifested in the way that educational technology studies distanced themselves from the rest of social science research over the 1980s and 1990s by exhibiting an almost overt distrust of qualitative data. The chapter also presents an overview of the key concepts discussed in this book.