The platformization of the classroom: Teachers as surveillant consumers

Priya C. Kumar, Jessica Vitak, Marshini Chetty, Tamara L. Clegg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Technology platforms, including learning management systems and monitoring tools, have taken root in schools. While seen as bringing efficiency or innovation into classrooms, they also offer greater capacities for surveillance. Drawing on findings from focus groups with teachers in the US, we explore how teachers’ use of technology platforms produces surveillance. We argue that this positions teachers as surveillant consumers who use monitoring as a way to fulfill their responsibilities to students. We portray two configurations of monitoring in the classroom: Tracking student learning and keeping students on task. These configurations reveal how technology platforms orient teachers to see student data as interchangeable with students, which we believe highlights the need for greater scrutiny of technology platforms’ role in the classroom.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)145-152
Number of pages8
JournalSurveillance & Society
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Mar 31 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Safety Research
  • Urban Studies


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