Platforms, perceptions, and privacy: ethical implications of student conflation of educational technologies

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to examine how higher education students think about educational technologies they have previously used – and the implications of this understanding for their awareness of datafication and privacy issues in a postsecondary context. Design/methodology/approach: The authors conducted two surveys about students’ experience with the ClassDojo platform during their secondary education. In both surveys, the authors included a question asking students to identify which ClassDojo-like platform they used in school. For this study, the authors examined responses to these screening questions, identifying the technologies that responses referred to and sorting technologies into categories. Findings: Students identified a wide range of technologies when prompted to identify a technology similar to ClassDojo. Many responses suggested students have a broad, monolithic understanding of educational technology. This suggests the prevalence of a utilitarian tool perspective (rather than a platform perspective) that may be entrenched by the time that students reach higher education, hampering efforts to inform and educate them in that context. Originality/value: To the best of the authors’ knowledge, there are few studies of students’ conflation of educational technologies in the extant literature. Furthermore, the platform perspective emphasized in this manuscript remains relatively rare in many fields associated with educational technology.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInformation and Learning Science
StateAccepted/In press - 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding: This project was supported by funding from the University of Kentucky College of Communication and Information Research Activities fund.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023, Emerald Publishing Limited.


  • ClassDojo
  • Datafication
  • Educational platforms
  • Educational technology
  • Learning management systems
  • Platforms
  • Privacy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Library and Information Sciences


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