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Access denied? Twenty-first-century technology in schools

Male, Trevor; Burden, Kevin


Trevor Male


This article considers how developments in technologies have transformed the kind of social interaction possible over the Internet making it feasible to undertake discourse and dialogue without having to rely solely on text based mediation. This represents a fundamental change to learning, shifting from passive acquisition of someone else's ideas to active learning experiences that empower people to inquire, critique, create, collaborate, problem solve and create understanding. Such technologies are also about the portability of mobile digital devices which now have the potential to allow any-time access for users either through Wi-Fi or mobile broadband providers and for those devices to become personal. The implications for education are enormous and the anticipated change probably ranks alongside the introduction of the printing press in terms of historical importance. This article considers those implications and draws on research recently conducted in schools and other educational settings in the UK. We conclude that the need to allow use of personal digital devices in schools seems inexorable the further we go into the new millennium. This simple premise is fraught with many difficulties and challenges, however, which suggest that for many students the current situation is ‘Access denied'.


Male, T., & Burden, K. (2014). Access denied? Twenty-first-century technology in schools. Technology, Pedagogy and Education, 23(4), 423-437.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date May 24, 2013
Online Publication Date Dec 16, 2013
Publication Date Oct 2, 2014
Deposit Date Nov 13, 2014
Publicly Available Date Nov 13, 2014
Journal Technology, pedagogy and education
Print ISSN 1475-939X
Publisher Routledge
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 23
Issue 4
Pages 423-437
Keywords REF 2014 submission; Digital technology; Pedagogy; Learning
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Technology, pedagogy and education on 16 Dec 2013, available online:
Contract Date Nov 13, 2014


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