Monash University
Digital Degrowth - LMT article 2023.pdf (249.99 kB)

Digital degrowth: toward radically sustainable education technology

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journal contribution
posted on 2023-01-03, 20:34 authored by Neil SelwynNeil Selwyn

Pre-print version of a published paper.

Please cite as:  Selwyn, N.  (2023).  Digital degrowth: toward radically sustainable education technology. Learning, Media and Technology

Abstract: This paper outlines how ideas of ‘degrowth’ might be used to reimagine sustainable forms of education technology. In essence, degrowth calls for a proactive renewal of technology use around goals of voluntary simplicity and slowing down, community-based coproduction and sharing, alongside conscious minimalization of resource consumption. As such, the paper considers how core degrowth principles of conviviality, commoning, autonomy and care have been used to develop various forms of ‘radically sustainable computing’. Applying these ideas to education contexts, the paper then suggests four ways in which degrowth principles might frame future thinking around education technology in terms of: (i) curtailing current manipulative forms of education technology, (ii) bolstering existing convivial forms of education technology; (iii) stimulating the development of new convivial education technologies; and (iv) developing digital technologies to achieve the eventual de-schooling of society. All told, it is argued that mobilisation of these ideas might support a much-needed reorientation of digital technology in education along low-impact, equitable lines.


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