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Governing Edtech in Schools and Universities


Kyle M. L. Jones, Ph.D.
Indiana University-Indianapolis
Indianapolis, IN, USA

Rebecca Reynolds, Ph.D.
Rutgers University
New Brunswick, NJ, USA

Yan Shvartzshnaider, Ph.D.
York University
Toronto, ON, Canada

The Proposed Book

Under the title Governing Edtech in Schools and Universities, we aim to assemble a set of case studies to explore governance of edtech and related data practices, so as to highlight the harms of underdeveloped governance mechanisms and raise awareness of governance practices that have proven successful. Only since the mid-2010s have higher education institutions established data governance frameworks and practices, resulting in investments in chief privacy officer positions and improved privacy policies; primary and secondary schools lag further behind their higher education peers. But, resources are still lacking to comprehensively address privacy, data justice, and data sovereignty, among other related problems. The complexity of ethics issues, the reliance on edtech, and the weaknesses of current governance structures and practices attending to edtech evidence a significant need to study edtech governance mechanisms. Without deeper study and targeted governance, education institutions risk edtech taking on an outsized, unregulated role that puts students, instructional faculty and teachers, and staff at risk—as well as becoming complicit in propagating information technology problems in society.

As an interdisciplinary book proposal, Governing Edtech in Schools and Universities will be informed and situated in a growing set of literature focused on critical studies of edtech and educational data practices (e.g., data mining, data analytics). However, our book is primarily informed by critical informatics (CI). CI takes a normative and analytical approach to research that focuses on empirically investigating technical and organizational aspects of information systems, while foregrounding culture and power dynamics. One particular methodological benefit CI affords is the opportunity to draw out different constituent concerns. CI also offers us ways to think about reconfiguring edtech ecosystems to work in solidarity with disenfranchised groups’ interests (in this case, staff, students, and instructors) as is common in broader literatures in the philosophy of technology and design justice. CI and the GKC framework are complementary, given GKC’s focus on contextual factors, information uses and norms, and constituent interests, practices, and roles. Similarly, we argue that our co-editor’s work (Shvartzshnaider et al., 2022), which integrates Helen Nissenbaum’s (2009) work on information privacy and contextual integrity, also adds needed facets to edtech governance for the way it grounds edtech privacy concerns directly in the GKC framework.

Contributing to the Workshops and Book

The editors are seeking contributors starting in January 2024.

We will convene meetings of scholars and practitioners across scholarly communities studying edtech and the governance thereof to discuss this topic. The editors are seeking participants from the fields of education, information science, and law, especially those whose research and interests are in the subfields of information policy, information ethics, information privacy, social/critical informatics, critical data studies, and critical algorithm studies (among other related subfields). Discussions will lead to contributions to the edited book.

The meeting structure is as follows. The first meeting will be held in March 2024 via Zoom to orient participants to the book’s structure and provide an overview of the knowledge commons framework contributors will use to thematically align their contributions. The second meeting, which will be held in April 2024 via Zoom, will enable participants to informally present their interests in the governing edtech space with the aims of building community and sparking potential collaborations. Presentations will be between 5-10 minutes and can discuss topically related ideas, early-stage research, or works-in-progress. The third and final meeting will be held in October 2024 at Rutgers University (New Brunswick, NJ, USA). Guest speakers will discuss their work with the knowledge commons framework, and contributors will formally present their chapter contributions as they near their final draft. Social events will be scheduled. Some funding will be made available to participate (e.g., travel, lodging).


Editors send invited calls for participationJanuary 2024
Editors finalize contributor listFebruary 2024
Meeting One (Zoom)March 2024
Meeting Two (Zoom)April 2024
Meeting Three (Rutgers University)October 2024 (1.5 days)
Contributor final drafts sent to editors for review, copyeditingDecember 2024
Editors send book final draft to Cambridge University Press to begin publication processFebruary 2025
Cambridge University Press publishes bookJune 2025


A bibliography of case studies of knowledge commons in the educational technology context was prepared by Junhao Chen, a student at the New York University School of Law, in February 2023.

This page was last updated on January 23rd, 2024.