Andreas Breiter and I edited a special issue on the datafication in education. It appeared in the journal Learning, Media and Technology. The special issue sheds light on the dynamics of datafication and related transformation of education. Contributions consider data practices that span across different countries, educational fields and governance levels from early childhood education (Bradbury), to schools (Ratner et al; Manolev et al), universities (Jones & McCoy), educational technology providers (Macgilchrist) to educational policy making and governance (Williamson & Piattoeva).
In sum, digital data allow for the analysis of different educational practices to a degree of complexity not previously possible and to a much greater extent, as they can be very detailed, cover a more complete scope and can be flexibly combined. This is increasingly happening in real time due to the power of computers and algorithms. In the near future, sensors will provide further data. As such digital data not only serve to support decisions, but also fundamentally change the organisation of learning and teaching. Thus, digital data not only support decision-making (“data-driven decision making”), but also fundamentally change the organisation of learning and teaching. These transformation processes lead to partly ambivalent consequences, such as new possibilities for participation, but also the monitoring and emergence/manifestation of inequalities.