A core aspect of our work is collaborating with interdisciplinary researchers from a range of universities in Australia and overseas. The combined expertise of this ‘Technical Democracy Collective’ spans education, policy and governance, artificial intelligence and emerging technologies, assessment, learning analytics, teacher professional learning, digital technologies, ethics, media and communications, and law. You can read more about all the members of this collective below.
Kalervo N. Gulson is professor in the School of Education and Social Work, University of Sydney, Australia and currently an Australian Research Council Future Fellow (2019-2022). His research is located across social, political and cultural geography, education policy studies, and science and technology studies. His current research programme is focused on education governance and policy futures and the life and computing sciences. This research investigates whether new knowledge, methods and technologies from life and computing sciences, with a specific focus on Artificial Intelligence, will substantively alter education policy and governance. Kalervo is interested in the ways education will grapple with and form responses to these changes, both in the academy and in public debates.
Teresa's research interests span participatory methodologies, knowledge practices, and emerging technologies. She has a particular interest in how people with diverse expertise can generate ideas, tools, and processes for collective learning and socio-technical change. Teresa’s key expertise is concept creation and methodological experimentation to inform shared knowledge and action. She is keen to explore imaginative possibilities, and addressing inequalities, in collaboration with cross-sectoral stakeholders to inform systemic design and ethical innovation. Teresa has diverse experience which spans: participatory research (co-production, public involvement in research); design research (co-design, participatory design, speculative design); futures and scenario planning methods; critical, archival, and open-source approaches to data and infrastructure; as well as creative practices and democratic innovations (prototyping, serious games, writing experiments, hackathons, technical democracy).
Located between media studies, science and technology studies (STS) and education research, Kevin is interested to understand how new media technologies move into the domain of education and shape the making of futures. Kevin has expertise in media theory, inventive methodologies and critical understandings of data and computation. In his dissertation, he examines emerging forms of automated education governance by investigating moments of intersection between artificial intelligence and education throughout the past, present and future.
Dr Simon Knight is a senior lecturer at the University of Technology Sydney TD School (UTS Transdisciplinary School), and Director of the Centre for Research on Education in a Digital Society (CREDS). He researches how people learn to ethically navigate uncertainty, disagreement, and evidence, particularly as mediated by technology and dialogue. This work is interdisciplinary, drawing on philosophy, psychology, and the learning and information sciences.
Kirsty Kitto is an Associate Professor of Data Science in the Connected Intelligence Centre at UTS. She works on modelling cognition in complex sociotechnical systems, with a particular focus upon Educational Data Science and Learning Analytics. She has received funding from the ARC, the OLT, and the European Union to support her research, which aims to support people in authentic environments as they learn over a lifetime.
Simon Buckingham Shum is Professor of Learning Informatics at the University of Technology Sydney, where he joined in 2014 as inaugural director of the Connected Intelligence Centre. CIC is a transdisciplinary innovation centre, inventing and evaluating tools that enable data-driven personalised feedback to students. Simon has been active over the last decade in shaping the field of Learning Analytics, co-founding the Society for Learning Analytics Research. He argues for human-centred co-design methods to make such tools trustworthy, and pioneered the use of Deliberative Democracy as an institutional consultation methodology around ethical concerns.
After working as a high school English, History and HPE teacher for 13 years in Western Australia, Professor Thompson completed his PhD at Murdoch University in 2009. From 2009 he worked as a Lecturer and Senior Lecturer in Murdoch's School of Education teaching into their Undergraduate and Postgraduate Programmes. Thompson's research focuses on the philosophy of education and educational theory. He is also interested in education policy, and the philosophy/sociology of education assessment and measurement with a focus on large-scale testing and learning analytics/Big Data.
Anna Hogan is a senior research fellow in the School of Teacher Education and Leadership at Queensland University of Technology. Her research interests focus on school privatisation and commercialisation, including the role of commercial edtech and ‘time saving’ devices. She has worked closely with school systems and teachers’ unions in relation to these issues
Dr. Jessica Holloway is a Senior Research Fellow and Australian Research Council DECRA Fellow within the Institute for Learning Sciences and Teacher Education (ILSTE) at Australian Catholic University. Her research draws on political theory and policy sociology to follow two major lines of inquiry: (1) how metrics, data and digital tools produce new conditions, practices and subjectivities, especially as this relates to teachers and schools, and (2) how teachers and schools are positioned to respond to the evolving and emerging needs of their students and communities.
Dr. Steven Lewis is a Senior Research Fellow in the Institute for Learning Sciences and Teacher Education at Australian Catholic University, as well as an Australia Research Council (ARC) DECRA Fellow. As an education policy sociologist, his research interests are concerned with exploring new spaces and relations of educational governance. Specifically, these include emergent forms of digital governance via data infrastructures and software platforms; data-driven modes of educational accountability; the education policy work of the OECD and other ‘non-state’ actors; and how these developments collectively shape the understanding and practice of education and expertise, at the teacher-, school- and schooling system-levels.
Sarah Langman is a Ph.D. candidate at the Institute for Learning Sciences and Teacher Education at Australian Catholic University. Her Ph.D. project examines datafication in spaces of educational leadership, with a specific focus on the digital data techniques and technologies utilised by those in positions of leadership. Her research uses poststructuralist theory to critically explore the logics that shape the policy landscape in Australian education as a result of the processes of data infrastructuring.
Vincent Zhang is a final-year Mechatronic Engineering and Computer Science at the University of Sydney. He is passionate about growing Australia's tech sector, and using emerging tech to improve outcomes in health, education and sustainability. He is currently a Data and Policy Intern at the Tech Council of Australia, the peak body for Australia's tech industry, where he leads their work on AI and data policy, and President and Co-founder at Tech for Social Good, a nonprofit for young Australians interested in responsible tech.
Carlo Perrotta is Senior Lecturer in the Faculty of Education at Monash University. Before joining Monash in 2018, he held research posts at the University of Leeds, and the UCL-Institute of Education in London. Prior to Academia, he worked for Futurelab, a UK-based, non-for-profit ‘think-tank’ that explored the potential of digital technology in education. Carlo's published research engages with a variety of topics including the social and political accountability of algorithms in education, automation and artificial intelligence, the ethical use of video games in schools and socio-material analyses of digital education.
Luci Pangrazio is a Chief Investigator in the Centre of Excellence for the Digital Child and a senior lecturer at Deakin University. Her research focuses on datafication in the home and school, the politics of digital platforms, and young people’s critical understandings of digital media. Recent books include Learning to Live with Datafication (2022, Routledge) and Young People’s Literacies in the Digital Age (2019, Routledge).
Sam Sellar is Dean of Research (Education Futures) and Professor of Education Policy at the University of South Australia. Sam’s research focuses on education policy, large-scale assessments and the datafication of education. He is currently co-investigator for an ESRC project investigating digital platforms in higher education (led by Janja Komljenovic, Lancaster University).
Sarah Howard is an Associate Professor of Digital Technologies in Education, at the University of Wollongong and a Visiting Professor at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel. Her research looks at digitally related teacher and school change. A core aspect of this is how educational data is designed, captured and made meaningful for teachers and learners.
Tiffani Apps is a Senior lecturer in Digital Technologies for Learning in the School of Education at the University of Wollongong. Tiffani’s research focuses on children and young people’s digital practices across early years, school, higher education and everyday settings. Her current research explores the impact of digital data on education, paying attention to the ways that educators, students and families engage with platforms and navigate the associated data.
Claire Benn is a research fellow on the Humanising Machine Intelligence Grand Challenge project at the ANU. She works with a multidisciplinary team advancing cutting-edge AI research with a focus on AI ethics. Her research addresses a wide variety of topics including programming ethical behaviour, human-machine interaction, and the role of communication and appearance in AI design.
Working in an interdisciplinary capacity across education and communications, her research interests include digital and co-creative media practices, emerging technologies, critical, media and digital literacies. Elizabeth has published in peer-reviewed journals and chapters in both Routledge and Springer books. She recently co-edited the collection Digital Disruption in Teaching and Testing published by Routledge and co-authored a report in this field for UNESCO. She is a member of the Association of Internet Researchers (AoIR) and the Australian Teachers of Media (ATOM Queensland). Elizabeth is an Advance Queensland Digital Champion, where she has been involved in activities that contribute to creating more digitally inclusive communities.
Dr Ben Williamson is a Chancellor's Fellow at the Centre for Research in Digital Education and Edinburgh Futures Institute, University of Edinburgh. His research explores the intersections of education governance, digital technologies, and futures-making. Current projects examine new data-intensive biology in education, emerging financial and investment practices in the 'edtech' industry, and the methods used to define digital education futures.
David Rutkowski is a Professor in Educational Research Methods at Indiana University, Bloomington. David’s research focuses on educational assessment and policy with a specific focus on large scale assessment. He currently is the editor of the IEA policy brief series, co-editor of the journal Discourse, and serves on the IEA publication editorial committee.
Leslie Rutkowski is Professor of Quantitative Research Methodology at Indiana University. Her research interests are around latent variable modelling and assessment design, especially in the context of international assessments. Leslie is chair of the PISA Technical Advisory Group and executive co-editor of the Springer book series, Research for Education.
His clinical projects, research, and writing primarily focus on practical frameworks and policy options to help traditional areas of law such as intellectual property, privacy, consumer protection, and civil rights adapt in light of new technologies and the challenges they pose. His most recent work focuses on the social and legal implications of machine learning, artificial intelligence, and the Internet of Things.