Exploring the impact of digital technologies on professional responsibilities and education



Fenwick T & Edwards R (2016) Exploring the impact of digital technologies on professional responsibilities and education. European Educational Research Journal, 15 (1), pp. 117-131.

Digital technologies in combination with ‘big’ data and predictive analytics are having a significant impact upon professional practices at individual, organisational, national and international levels. The interplay of code, algorithms and big data are increasingly pervasive in the governing, leadership and practices of different professional groups. They are reshaping the relationships between professional grouping and between professionals and their clients/users/students. New forms of accountability and responsibility are emerging as a result of these trends, raising important questions about culpability and decision-making in professional practice. However, to date, despite the introduction of many professional codes on the use of digital data and social media, these issues have received limited examination in research addressing professional education. This article aims to explore some of these trends, how they are manifested in different professions and what might be the educational implications. Our argument is that new digital technologies are reconfiguring professional practice and responsibility, but that the education of professionals has yet to adequately reflect these changes. Digital technologies may therefore be changing the governing of practice rather than simply enhancing the efficiency of practices.

professional responsibility; professional education; digital technologies; algorithms; big data; analytics; accountability

European Educational Research Journal: Volume 15, Issue 1

FundersEconomic and Social Research Council
Publication date31/01/2016
Publication date online01/2016
Date accepted by journal26/08/2015

People (2)


Professor Richard Edwards
Professor Richard Edwards

Emeritus Professor, Education

Professor Tara Fenwick
Professor Tara Fenwick

Emeritus Professor, Education