Disaster Capitalism, Rampant EdTech Opportunism, and the Advancement of Online Learning in the Era of COVID19


  • Shannon Dawn Maree Moore University of Manitoba
  • Bruno De Oliveira Jayme University of Manitoba
  • Joanna Black University of Manitoba




COVID19, pandemic, Disaster Capitalism, neoliberalism, online learning, public education, educational technology, pedagogy


The authors consider the ways in which educational responses to COVID19 exemplify  opportunistic disaster capitalism. Prior to the pandemic, neoliberal influence increasingly impacted education systems all over the world, pushing for increased privatization in/of schools.  COVID19 has created conditions for private technology companies to push for increased participation in public schools. That is, corporations are using this health crisis to further mobilize the neoliberal agenda, and encourage policies, practices, and technological infrastructure that will be used to rationalize ongoing online learning. In turn, we ask: What are the motivations and implications of inviting private EdTech into public education? How does EdTech encourage a move to online learning; c) what are the overall impacts of online learning? Under the veil of the panic of a global health crisis, our public education systems in Canada are being put at risk. 


Author Biographies

Shannon Dawn Maree Moore, University of Manitoba

Shannon D.M. Moore is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Curriculum, Teaching and Learning at The University of Manitoba. Her research interests include gender, media education, and the impacts of neoliberalism on public education, teaching and learning. In her current research, she is using critical discourse analysis to reveal the ways that neoliberal discourses are reconfiguring teaching, undermining curricula, and dismantling public education in Canada.

Bruno De Oliveira Jayme, University of Manitoba

Born and raised in Brazil, Bruno de Oliveira Jayme is an award-winning Assistant Professor in Curriculum, Teaching, & Learning at the Faculty of Education, University of Manitoba. With a background in art and environmental education, his research interests rely on critical and creative pedagogies, popular education, and arts–based research. He is also the co-author of The Nature of Transformation: Environmental Adult Education. Dr. de Oliveira Jayme is the recipient of the 2019 Excellence in Teaching Award and the 2018 Diversity in Education Award.

Joanna Black, University of Manitoba

Joanna Black is Professor of Visual Art Education in the Faculty of Education and cross-appointed as an Adjunct Professor at the School of Art, University of Manitoba, Canada. Her research areas include creative art digital technologies, new media art education, youth social media practices, digital arts pedagogy, and human rights education. Dr. Black has received several awards, including: the Art Education Technology (AET) Outstanding Research Award; the Manitoba Education Research Network (MERN) Research Achievement Award; the Provincial Affiliate Art Educator Award from the Canadian Society for Education through Art. She has also the co-author of Youth Practices in Digital Arts and New Media: Learning in Formal and Informal Settings.



2021-01-15 — Updated on 2021-01-15