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Investing in imagined digital futures: the techno-financial ‘futuring’ of edtech investors in higher education

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Investing in imagined digital futures: the techno-financial ‘futuring’ of edtech investors in higher education. / Williamson, Ben; Komljenovic, Janja.

In: Critical Studies in Education, 01.06.2022.

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

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Williamson B, Komljenovic J. Investing in imagined digital futures: the techno-financial ‘futuring’ of edtech investors in higher education. Critical Studies in Education. 2022 Jun 1. Epub 2022 Jun 1. doi: 10.1080/17508487.2022.2081587

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@article{e9fa2e6963e24596930a662a8664d8c3,
title = "Investing in imagined digital futures: the techno-financial {\textquoteleft}futuring{\textquoteright} of edtech investors in higher education",
abstract = "Educational technology is the focus of increasing financial investment. In this article, we examine how edtech investors imagine and invest in the future of higher education through an empirical case study of a UK investing company. Utilising concepts and methods from economic sociology, we analyse how investment companies engage in techno-financial {\textquoteleft}futuring{\textquoteright} practices. We identify two kinds of futuring practices. First, investors{\textquoteright} imaginary practices produce qualitative {\textquoteleft}fictional expectations{\textquoteright} about the future of education, supported by quantitative financial valuation practices that predict the monetary returns on investment available from funding edtech. Second, we analyse the specific investment-supporting operations of edtech investors, highlighting how imagined futures of education are funded into existence (or not) as investors select and support edtech products or services. In these ways, imaginaries of the future may be materialised in educational institutions through financial investments in specific edtech products. We particularly trace how investment imaginaries and operations shift from edtech markets as selling commodities to edtech industry controlling digital products and resources as assets. Therefore, the two identified complementary futuring practices function as processes of {\textquoteleft}assetisation{\textquoteright}, aimed at turning educational services and resources into digital assets with calculable future value for edtech investors.",
keywords = "Assetisation, capitalisation, educational technology, futuring, imaginaries, investment",
author = "Ben Williamson and Janja Komljenovic",
year = "2022",
month = jun,
day = "1",
doi = "10.1080/17508487.2022.2081587",
language = "English",
journal = "Critical Studies in Education",
issn = "1750-8487",
publisher = "Taylor and Francis Ltd.",

}

RIS

TY - JOUR

T1 - Investing in imagined digital futures: the techno-financial ‘futuring’ of edtech investors in higher education

AU - Williamson, Ben

AU - Komljenovic, Janja

PY - 2022/6/1

Y1 - 2022/6/1

N2 - Educational technology is the focus of increasing financial investment. In this article, we examine how edtech investors imagine and invest in the future of higher education through an empirical case study of a UK investing company. Utilising concepts and methods from economic sociology, we analyse how investment companies engage in techno-financial ‘futuring’ practices. We identify two kinds of futuring practices. First, investors’ imaginary practices produce qualitative ‘fictional expectations’ about the future of education, supported by quantitative financial valuation practices that predict the monetary returns on investment available from funding edtech. Second, we analyse the specific investment-supporting operations of edtech investors, highlighting how imagined futures of education are funded into existence (or not) as investors select and support edtech products or services. In these ways, imaginaries of the future may be materialised in educational institutions through financial investments in specific edtech products. We particularly trace how investment imaginaries and operations shift from edtech markets as selling commodities to edtech industry controlling digital products and resources as assets. Therefore, the two identified complementary futuring practices function as processes of ‘assetisation’, aimed at turning educational services and resources into digital assets with calculable future value for edtech investors.

AB - Educational technology is the focus of increasing financial investment. In this article, we examine how edtech investors imagine and invest in the future of higher education through an empirical case study of a UK investing company. Utilising concepts and methods from economic sociology, we analyse how investment companies engage in techno-financial ‘futuring’ practices. We identify two kinds of futuring practices. First, investors’ imaginary practices produce qualitative ‘fictional expectations’ about the future of education, supported by quantitative financial valuation practices that predict the monetary returns on investment available from funding edtech. Second, we analyse the specific investment-supporting operations of edtech investors, highlighting how imagined futures of education are funded into existence (or not) as investors select and support edtech products or services. In these ways, imaginaries of the future may be materialised in educational institutions through financial investments in specific edtech products. We particularly trace how investment imaginaries and operations shift from edtech markets as selling commodities to edtech industry controlling digital products and resources as assets. Therefore, the two identified complementary futuring practices function as processes of ‘assetisation’, aimed at turning educational services and resources into digital assets with calculable future value for edtech investors.

KW - Assetisation

KW - capitalisation

KW - educational technology

KW - futuring

KW - imaginaries

KW - investment

U2 - 10.1080/17508487.2022.2081587

DO - 10.1080/17508487.2022.2081587

M3 - Journal article

JO - Critical Studies in Education

JF - Critical Studies in Education

SN - 1750-8487

ER -