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The Digital, the Virtual and the Naming of Knowledge

Keywords: new media and education , the virtual

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Amidst changing regimes of disciplinarity, the digital has become a term used to delineate a mode of knowledge and educational methodology. Its currency comes from the technologies that share its name, yet the territory that it marks is much greater than this, referring to the cultural, economic and social. The digital is too proximate to the technological to adequately account for this territory. Instead, I argue for radical interventions in the naming of knowledge in order to defamiliarise the digital. Different accounts of the virtual by Pierre Lévy, Katherine Hayles and David Summers suggest that this term establishes a greater range of enquiry and contestation. The virtual is but one alternative to the digital as a means by which new disciplines, methodologies and pedagogies might be constituted.


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