Invisible publics: higher education and digital exclusion

Watling, Sue (2012) Invisible publics: higher education and digital exclusion. In: Towards teaching in public: reshaping the modern university. Continuum. ISBN 9781441124791

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Abstract

Teaching in public involves reducing barriers to access and nowhere is this more appropriate than with the subject of electronic resources and the delivery of virtual learning opportunities. The future of the university, in a time of resurgence of neo-liberal values, the primacy of market forces and
an increasing emphasis on private rather than public provision, has become
the subject of much debate. Insufficient attention, however, is being paid to
the possibility of exclusion, which is the inevitable result of increasing digital pedagogies and practices. This chapter focuses on the role of the university in ensuring equitable access to digital technology. Over the last decade, the possibilities of virtual learning have included pportunities for widening participation, increasing student numbers and opening up world trades in professional and academic expertise, thereby sustaining the globalization
of education. This chapter addresses the limitations to these opportunities, in particular the failure to prioritize issues of digital inclusion and the divisive consequences of digital discrimination. The chapter is in two parts: the first examines the adoption of virtual learning within
higher education, in particular, the ability of the technology to both enable and deny access. The second looks at the wider implications of this duality when set against the background of an increasingly digital society, and how inclusive practices are failing to have inclusive results.

Item Type:Book Section
Additional Information:Teaching in public involves reducing barriers to access and nowhere is this more appropriate than with the subject of electronic resources and the delivery of virtual learning opportunities. The future of the university, in a time of resurgence of neo-liberal values, the primacy of market forces and an increasing emphasis on private rather than public provision, has become the subject of much debate. Insufficient attention, however, is being paid to the possibility of exclusion, which is the inevitable result of increasing digital pedagogies and practices. This chapter focuses on the role of the university in ensuring equitable access to digital technology. Over the last decade, the possibilities of virtual learning have included pportunities for widening participation, increasing student numbers and opening up world trades in professional and academic expertise, thereby sustaining the globalization of education. This chapter addresses the limitations to these opportunities, in particular the failure to prioritize issues of digital inclusion and the divisive consequences of digital discrimination. The chapter is in two parts: the first examines the adoption of virtual learning within higher education, in particular, the ability of the technology to both enable and deny access. The second looks at the wider implications of this duality when set against the background of an increasingly digital society, and how inclusive practices are failing to have inclusive results.
Keywords:digital inclusion, Teaching in Public
Subjects:X Education > X342 Academic studies in Higher Education
X Education > X142 Training Teachers - Higher Education
Divisions:College of Social Science > School of Education
ID Code:6137
Deposited By: Sue Watling
Deposited On:13 Sep 2012 18:38
Last Modified:13 Mar 2013 09:13

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