Digital Student Expertise in the Making

Sofie Stenbøg

Research output: Contribution to conference - NOT published in proceeding or journalConference abstract for conferenceResearchpeer-review


Digital Natives, iGens’ or New Millennium Learners (Prensky 2001, Raphelson 2014, OECD 2008). There are many labels for the generation of young (western) citizens who have grown up with digital, web based technologies as a crucial part of their everyday life. This genera-tion now inhabits schools all around the world and their entry has not escaped the attention from teachers, school managers and policy makers. A current trend within education management, in Denmark as well as internationally, is to incorporate the students’ digital skills or ‘expertise’ as a resource in teaching, e.g. through digital student production (Sørensen 2010). This trend is based on the widespread idea that students of the digital generation by default are competent and creative users of technology in virtue of their early interaction with technology, and that the digital expertise resides within the individual student (e.g. Bennett et. al. 2008, Helsper & Eynon 2009). In this paper I go beyond the idea of digital expertise as something intrinsic. Building on STS’s central notion of performativity (e.g. Law & Singleton 2000) the paper argues that digital expertise should be studied as a temporary achievement of negotiations and coordina-tion between heterogeneous actors involved in the broad situation of teaching (Clarke 2005). This analytical argument is elaborated in close dialogue with empirical findings from on-going fieldwork at a primary school, whose strategic ambition is to involve and utilize stu-dents’ digital competencies as much as possible in teaching. The paper concludes that understanding digital student expertise as a performative and collec-tive effort, rather than something given will have implications for digital school management.
Translated title of the contributionDigital elevekspertise i støbeskeen
Original languageEnglish
Publication date2015
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Event 2nd Nordic Science and Technology Studies (STS) Conference - Aalborg University Copenhagen , Copenhagen, Denmark
Duration: 27 May 201529 May 2015
Conference number: 2


Conference 2nd Nordic Science and Technology Studies (STS) Conference
LocationAalborg University Copenhagen
Internet address


  • digital expertise
  • digital management
  • primary school
  • digital natives
  • digital policy


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