Educational technology: A postdigital social tradition

Offord, M. (2023) Educational technology: A postdigital social tradition. Postdigital Science and Education, (doi: 10.1007/s42438-023-00445-1) (Early Online Publication)

[img] Text
309994.pdf - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.



The dissolution of the campus during the early stages of the current pandemic provides a compelling case study of how Higher Education responds to emergencies. Initially, digital education was perceived as a lifeline and educators spoke of a ‘pivot online’. What followed was an undignified stumble into remote teaching. Social theories of innovation suggest that rapid technological change is simply a matter of choice and organisations can make rapid and strategic changes when required. I argue that talk of pivots and innovation is misleading and deflects enquiries from an important reason for academic resilience: teaching as tradition. Drawing on early forays into the importance of imitation by Gabriel Tarde, I contribute to efforts to rediscover his microsociological approach and link this to modern evolutionary research. By using a sociocultural evolutionary lens to analyse 102 courses in a business school, I demonstrate the persistence and resilience of teaching traditions and the use of imitation, rather than top-down direction. Using a phylogenetic analysis, I show how flexible imitation of traditional practice created a resilient, but unplanned, response to crisis. I explain how these results can inform resilience-building in Higher Education, by supporting the flexible imitation of teaching traditions. The research also advocates the use of cultural evolution, drawing on the inspiration of Tarde, in postdigital educational research.

Item Type:Articles
Keywords:teaching traditions, cultural evolution, imitation, academic resilience, innovation, digital drift.
Status:Early Online Publication
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Offord, Dr Matt
Authors: Offord, M.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > Adam Smith Business School > Management
Journal Name:Postdigital Science and Education
ISSN (Online):2524-4868
Published Online:15 December 2023
Copyright Holders:Copyright © The Author(s) 2023
First Published:First published in Postdigital Science and Education 2023
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License
Related URLs:

University Staff: Request a correction | Enlighten Editors: Update this record