Enacting Students as Digital Experts: Reconfiguring Relations in Teaching

Sofie Stenbøg

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


‘Digital Natives’, ‘Net Generation’ or ‘Milliners’ (Prensky 2001, Tapscott 1998, Strauss & Howe 2000). There have been many attempts to define the young generation who have grown up with digital technologies as a vital part of their everyday life. This generation now inhabits today’s schools and their entry has not escaped the attention from teachers, school managers and policy makers. Incorporating students’ digital skills or ‘expertise’ as a resource in teaching, e.g. through digital student production is an emergent trend in education. This trend is generally based on the assumption that students today are inherently experts in technology by virtue of their early interaction with technology. This implies that students’ digital capabilities becomes black-boxed as a fixed size that is straightforward to use in teaching as a means to compliment teachers’ pedagogical and didactic expertise. Drawing on STS’s central notion of performativity (Law 2008), this paper argues that digital expertise is better understood as a temporary achievement of negotiations and coordination between heterogeneous actors rather than as something intrinsic. The paper draws on an empirical field study in a Danish primary school, which seeks to employ students’ digital competencies as much as possible in teaching. Moving digital expertise analytically from a characteristic of today’s students to be seen as contingent enactments makes it possible to study how and in which way this digital expertise emerge and how it transforms teachers’ and students’ roles and responsibilities. Thus, this paper contributes to establishing digital education as a relevant empirical field within STS.
Translated title of the contributionStuderende som digitale eksperter? Om nye lærer-elev-relationer i digital undervisning
Original languageEnglish
Publication date2015
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • digital teaching


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