Since the start of the pandemic it’s become common to suggest that education will have to adapt to a “new normal,” with increased use of online platforms. But private tech firms risk having an oversized say in what the “new normal” is — ignoring the needs expressed by teachers and learners themselves.
Nick Couldry is professor of media, communications, and social theory at the London School of Economics and Political Science and the author (with Ulises A. Mejías) of The Costs of Connection (Stanford UP 2019).
In recent years, firms like Google and Facebook have used the Global South as a test bed for new and unregulated forms of data collection. Faced with coronavirus, the same mechanisms are being rolled out across the world — with for-profit data collection becoming increasingly central to states’ management of their welfare systems.