The situated power of computational empowerment

The concept of 'computational empowerment' (digital myndiggørelse) is central to many educational initiatives but it is unclear how exactly computing / computers in education are to change dynamics/relations of power. This article thus investigates the 'power' at play in three empirical cases aimed at computational empowerment. The article was published in a special issue of the International Journal of Computer-Child Interaction dedicated to the life and legacy of Professor Dr. Heidi Schelhowe (1949-2021).

Andersen, L. B., Tafdrup, O. A., Møller, T. E., Rehder, M. M., & Schrøder, V.
Journal article
International Journal of Child-Computer Interaction
The situated power of computational empowerment


Processes of computational empowerment necessarily involve changing the relationships of power between children, digital technologies, and social contexts. However, research into computational empowerment rarely explicates a theory of power nor reflects on the dynamics of power implicated in attempts at empowerment. The purpose of this article is thus to investigate the problem of power in computational empowerment. The method applied is one of empirical philosophy. The article utilizes three paradigmatic cases describing how the power of computational empowerment is a matter of situated knowledge and agency, an outcome of invisible work, and a question of ontological politics.

Keywords: Power, Computational empowerment, Situated agency, Infrastructure, Ontological politics, HCI

Read the full published article here (or download the authors own version using the link above).