IT Futures

University of Edinburgh

Sian Bayne

Professor Sian Bayne


Educating against psychic numbing


This talk will try to understand what is at stake in the loss of the possibility of anonymity in an age of data profiling, extraction and personalisation. Drawing on the findings of a recent research project looking at anonymous social media use among students at the University of Edinburgh, I will focus on how we might develop our institutional values surrounding anonymity through our thinking on digital transformation. I will argue that we should embrace a mission for education which works against the ‘psychic numbing’ on which platform and surveillance capitalism depends.


Sian Bayne is Professor of Digital Education and Assistant Principal for Digital Education at The University of Edinburgh. Based in the Centre for Research in Digital Education, her research is currently focused on open and distance education and the application of theory from the humanities and social sciences to digital education. More information about her work is on her web site at:















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