University of Oulu

Antti Paakkari, Pauliina Rautio, Verneri Valasmo, Digital labour in school: Smartphones and their consequences in classrooms, Learning, Culture and Social Interaction, Volume 21, 2019, Pages 161-169, ISSN 2210-6561,

Digital labour in school : smartphones and their consequences in classrooms

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Author: Paakkari, Antti1; Rautio, Pauliina2; Valasmo, Verneri3
Organizations: 1University of Helsinki, Finland
2University of Oulu, Finland
3Åbo Akademi University, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.4 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Elsevier, 2019
Publish Date: 2020-03-06


This paper reflects on the forms of digital labour present in upper secondary school students’ smartphone use during the school day. Digital labour is understood as value-producing online activity, for example the labour of producing content for social media platforms such as Instagram or Facebook. Through analysis of students’ phone use in classroom we approach aspects of digital labour intertwining with school. In the paper, theoretical perspectives on digital labour are connected with ethnographic data on student phone use. Our findings suggest that digital labour has become a permanent part of school life. Two main consequences are identified. Firstly, for the students the school is no longer a place where work does not take place, as digital labour intertwines with the school day. Secondly, technologies introduce new corporate actors into the classroom space that schools have to negotiate with.

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Series: Learning, culture and social interaction
ISSN: 2210-6561
ISSN-E: 2210-657X
ISSN-L: 2210-6561
Volume: 21
Pages: 161 - 169
DOI: 10.1016/j.lcsi.2019.03.004
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 516 Educational sciences
Funding: This research has been funded by the Swedish Cultural Foundation in Finland.
Copyright information: © 2019 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (