More than ever, platforms are imposing themselves in our everyday lives: in our relationships, in our workplaces, and importantly, in the classroom. But few people pay critical attention to the way platforms are beginning to influence teaching and learning. The primary goal of this paper, then, is to lay bare the ways in which platform capitalism is “colonizing” education. Based on Nick Srnicek’s analysis of platforms in the book Platform Capitalism, I will offer an overview of the ways in which the five biggest platforms— Google, Microsoft, Apple, Amazon, and Facebook —are making forays into education. I will also show some of the privacy concerns, especially pertaining to student data, that have arisen from these platforms’ entrance into the education field. Finally, I will gesture to how we might regulate these platforms’ influence in the future.
Keywords: platform capitalism, education technology, platform regulation.