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date: 21 October 2021

Abstract and Keywords

In this chapter, the authors reframe the question of the “impact” of educational technology use as a sociopolitical negotiation, linking to broader processes of social stratification deeply embedded in the fabric of educational systems. While prior research asks narrowly, “What is the impact of technology use in schools?” the new approach asks, “How does the negotiation of existing inequalities shape unequal use and unequal outcomes?” Comparing past scholarship to more recent research that uses this new approach, the authors highlight the benefits of this reframing. Viewed as the negotiation of preexisting inequality, research shows that educational technology use involves the ongoing categorization of technology use and the matching of privileged groups to privileged technology uses and links micro- and meso-level processes to macro-level social stratification. Overall, the authors highlight the need for research on educational technologies that takes a critical perspective on the intimate connection between school technology use and inequality.

Keywords: educational technology, frame theory, vocational education, inequality, social stratification

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