In an age in which EdTech has been incorporated into the circuits of capitalism, the argument that somehow public education has failed in its mission and that it is time for Silicon Valley to “disrupt” and “fix things” with “revolutionary” and “solution-centered” EdTech is a pervasive one.


Too often, immersion in the EdTech hype cycle distracts from the real economic and political structures, institutions and interests that are shaping and attempting to benefit from EdTech’s development, diffusion, application and impact in society. Instead of hyping learning to love or loathe EdTech, we need to ask and try to answer socially relevant questions about EdTech. What caused higher education’s problems and why is EdTech being imagined as the best solution?

Tanner Mirrlees and Shahid Alvi

Mirrlees, T., & Alvi, S. (2020). For a political economy of EdTech. In Edtech INC – Selling, Automating and Globalizing Higher Education in the Digital Age (pp. 1–21). Routledge.