Matt Vetter (Department of English) and co-author Zach McDowell (University of Illinois, Chicago) have published an article in the Journal of University Teaching & Learning Practice

“A spectrum of surveillance: Charting functions of epistemic inequality across EdTech platforms in the post-COVID-19 era” appears in a special issue entitled higher education and digital writing in a post-pandemic world.

Recognizing how the current milieu of constant and continuing public health crises has led to more frequent, uncritical, and hurried adoption of learning technologies, this article challenges higher education professionals to take a more critical look at the various EdTech platforms they are, have, and will adopt in the post-COVID-19 era and the spectrum of surveillance such platforms enact.

Through a review of common entities such as learning management systems, Google Workspace for Education, and Zoom video conferencing software, Vetter and McDowell demonstrate how these technologies place both teachers and students in a relationship to data and learning characterized by “epistemic inequality” or “unequal access to learning imposed by private commercial mechanisms” (Zuboff, 2019, p. 10). By taking a closer look at the problematic surveillance functioning across EdTech, this article makes a case for Commons-based Peer Production communities as equitable, open educational alternatives that have resisted market-based neoliberalism and surveillance capitalism.

Read the article online.