The Digital Classroom: A Historical Consideration on the Redesigning of the Contexts of Learning

  • Inés Dussel
Part of the Educational Governance Research book series (EGTU, volume 9)


In the digital age, it is increasingly common that classrooms show a significant presence of technological devices that redesign their layout and daily interactions. However, this redesigning is less the result of the direct intervention of designers and architects than the effect of local and usually more silent arrangements that find ways to accommodate the demands of these devices in the existing physical and pedagogical environments. In the chapter, I present some of the current debates on transforming schools into ‘smart and sentient’ environments for learning and the new role of digital devices in them. Based on research done in Argentinean and Mexican classrooms, I then argue that there is a visible trend in their interactions and material layout that shows a shift from several artifacts and pedagogical devices (window, blackboard, fieldtrips, and playgrounds) that used to invite different trajectories for learning to an overwhelming presence of a single artifact that appears to synthetize all these possibilities: the screen. In the final section, I reflect on the direction of this shift and on the orientations that new design and pedagogies could take. I claim that studying the redesigning of classrooms in digitalized schools gives us access to ‘a history of our contemporary infrastructures of sense and knowledge’, in Orit Halpern’s terms, a history that is perhaps unsettling but that, precisely for that reason, needs to be interrogated.


Digital classrooms Design Screen Window Blackboard 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Inés Dussel
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Educational ResearchCINVESTAVMexico cityMexico

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