Afterword: The future of datafication in education? Clouds, bodies and ethics

Ben Williamson*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Complementing studies of datafication focused on governmental policy initiatives or commercial activity, the collection prioritises attention to the practices and experiences of datafication by diverse stakeholders in local contexts. This chapter outlines areas where the research remains essential but so far underdeveloped: the experiences and practices of teaching and learning in cloud computing infrastructures; new forms of datafication which extract intimate information about learning and teaching from bodies and faces; and the experiences and practices of negotiating data ethics and regulation in education. Major global cloud computing operators, including Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud and Microsoft Azure, host and power many of the digital services and platforms that schools, colleges and universities routinely use. With intimate data analytics, students are anatomised biologically as ‘data bodies’, with the autonomic biological signals traced from their faces and bodies treated as proxies of internal states of attention, cognition, neural function and affect.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationLearning to Live with Datafication
Subtitle of host publicationEducational Case Studies and Initiatives from Across the World
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages7
ISBN (Electronic)9781000541625
ISBN (Print)9780367683085
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 25 Mar 2022


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