The Critical Digital Education Research Group explores the role of technology in learning and education, with a specific focus on inequality and social justice national and internationally.

Through varied projects that focus on different life stages and contexts of learning, our research interrogates the ways in which new technologies are reinforcing and exacerbating inequalities within our education systems and society as a whole. One strand of this work focuses on the UK and includes critical studies that both exemplify and try to change existing social injustices, and the second core strand focuses on the complex development processes involved in designing innovative educational technologies for marginalised learners in low resource settings.  Our research is mixed-method, with a strong and growing emphasis on design and participatory approaches and the use of social-data science.

Our research is funded by multiple organisations including the British Academy, DFID, the Wellcome Trust, the European Commission, the ESRC, the Gates Foundation, John Fell Fund, the Nominet Trust, the Oxford IT Innovations Fund, Goldman Sachs Gives and Wikipedia. Our activities build upon the past work of the Learning and New Technologies Research Group (LNTRG) that was based at the department from 2010-2021.

For up to date information on all of our activities please see our news page.  We run a series of seminars and other events in Trinity Term. Contact us to join our mail list.

Selected publications

  • Denton-Calabrese, T., Mustain, P., Geniets, A., Hakimi, L. and Winters, N. (2021). Empowerment beyond skills: Computing and the enhancement of self-concept in the go_girl code+ create programme. Computers & Education.
  • Eynon, R. and Malmberg, L.-E. (2021). Lifelong learning and the Internet: Who benefits most from learning online? British Journal of Educational Technology 52 (2), 569 -583.
  • Eynon, R. (2021). Becoming digitally literate: Reinstating an educational lens to digital skills policies for adults. British Educational Research Journal 47 (1), 146-162.
  • Geniets, A., O’Donovan, J., Hakimi, L. and Winters, N. (2021). Training for Community Health: Bridging the global health care gap. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Hakimi, L., Eynon, R. and Murphy, V. (2021) The ethics of using digital trace data in education: a thematic review of the research landscape. Review of Educational Research.
  • Kahn, K. and Winters, N., 2021. Constructionism and AI: A history and possible futures. British Journal of Educational Technology.

Study with us

The Critical Digital Education Research Group has a lively academic culture that brings together a multidisciplinary group of academics and postgraduates from across Oxford to explore the role of technology in learning and education, with a specific focus on inequality and social justice nationally and internationally. We welcome applications from DPhil students interested in this area. We also run the MSc Education (Digital and Social Change).

Examples of current DPhil projects:

  • Manal Bougazzoul: Teens, Tech and Learning: An Intersectional Approach to Understanding the Links between Social and Digital Inequalities.
  • Karim Elmehairy: Exploring configurations of and patterns of engagement with learning resources within learning ecologies.

Examples of recently completed DPhil projects:

  • Tracey Calabrese: Shaping School Culture to Transform Education: An Ethnographic Study of New Technology High Schools.
  • Laura Pinkerton: Does not compute: social dissonance in England’s new computing education policy.
  • Julianne Viola: Civic Identity in the Digital Age: An investigation into the civic experiences of American young people.
  • Erin Young: (Un)settling differences: Re-conceptualisations of technologically-mediated interdisciplinary research in Higher Education.


The work of the Critical Digital Research Group aims to impact research, policy and practice locally nationally and internationally in variety of different ways. Examples include:

  • GoGirl, a programme that partners with Oxfordshire County Council to provide opportunities for marginalised young women to explore training, education and technology through creative programming activities.
  • LIFE is being developed as a social enterprise, with the expectation that it will be used in the formal training of over 5,000 nurses in LMICs. It is available on the App Store and on Google Play.
  • Editorial roles for leading academic journals including the British Journal of Educational Technology and Learning, Media and Technology.

For up to date information on all of our activities please see our news page.  We run a regular series of seminars and other events. Contact us to join our mail list.