Content-type: text/html ~ Stephen's Web ~ Deconstructing the Normalization of Data Colonialism in Educational Technology

Stephen Downes

Knowledge, Learning, Community

While I'm not sure I would classify this as 'colonialism' per se this article (14 page PDF) does identify the use in academia of a model first defined by John Locke in 1689: "Whatsoever then he removes out of the State that Nature hath provided, and left it in, he hath mixed his Labour with, and joyned to it something that is his own, and thereby makes it his Property" (to be clear, the article does not reference Locke directly). The authors write, "Under colonialism, natural resources were considered 'free' to take and appropriate, which was supposed to bring about a new social order and a better world. Similarly, 'data colonialism' treats user data as a natural resource, justifying the process by introducing new social relations and ideologies." Does academia do this? Based on the results of this study, it seems clear that they do. The authors recommend a series of measures to reverse this practice. Image: Badawy et al.

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Stephen Downes Stephen Downes, Casselman, Canada

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Last Updated: May 21, 2024 10:30 a.m.

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