Call for Proposals: Critical Perspectives on Digital Platforms in ELA Teacher Education

by Phil Nichols, Baylor University; & Brad Robinson, Texas State University

Google Docs, Turnitin, Flip — today’s English language arts classrooms are replete with digital platforms. A digital platform is a networked hub that allows people to create, share, and sell data in the form of information, services, or content. In schools, digital platforms bring together various actors with different, sometimes conflicting, motivations: technology companies with financial motivations, administrators with logistical motivations, teachers with pedagogical motivations, students with academic motivations, and families with supportive motivations.

Given how digital platforms increasingly mediate what students learn and how they learn it—as well as what teachers teach and how they teach it — scholars and educators alike must reckon with the opportunities and limitations they present. Research in the interdisciplinary field of “platform studies” — and adjacent literatures in critical data studies, critical race science and technology studies, and computational cultural studies — have demonstrated that many of the promising features that platforms enable can also introduce forms of algorithmic bias, discrimination, surveillance, and data extraction into the sites and practices where they are used.

English education and literacies scholars have begun to build on this work, examining the ways digital platform infrastructures (e.g., data processes, algorithms, interfaces, hardware) are influencing the practice of literacy in- and out-of-schools. However, less is known about the role digital platforms play in ELA teacher education, where teacher educators use a range of familiar (e.g., Google Docs) and less familiar (e.g., Sibme) platforms to support the development of pre-service educators.

The purpose of this special issue is to undertake a critical exploration of digital platforms in ELA teacher education. We are interested in articles that examine both the role and influence of platforms in ELA teacher education, as well as the ways ELA teacher educators are preparing teacher candidates for ELA classrooms that are increasingly mediated by platform technologies. While we are open to a wide range of entry points into the topic, some questions we hope this issue will address include:

  • How are platforms shaping content and instruction in ELA teacher education and/or in ELA classrooms?
  • How are ELA teacher educators engaging issues of power and justice in relation to platform technologies (e.g., algorithmic discrimination, surveillance/dataveillance, accessibility, platform capitalism, etc.) in their courses and mentoring?
  • How are ELA teacher candidates learning to cultivate critical orientations toward the platform technologies that populate ELA classrooms today? Or, what are the obstacles for doing so?
  • How are ELA teacher educators addressing questions related to AI, automation, deskilling, and teacher labor?
  • What strategies or practices are useful in reconciling, resisting, or subverting the issues and tensions that platforms introduce in ELA teacher education and/or ELA classrooms?

CITE English Education journal solicits rigorous conceptual and/or empirical manuscripts that explore innovative uses of technology in ELA teacher education in remote and/or virtual contexts. The works to be included in these issues should go beyond simple description of ELA teacher education activities that utilize digital platforms; they should include analysis of the nature, purpose, and outcomes of digital platforms by drawing upon relevant theoretical and methodological frameworks. Special attention should be paid to issues of equity and access, and platforms should be contextualized (and problematized) as necessary.

While not required, we encourage the submission of manuscripts that take advantage of CITE English Education’s capacities to publish multimedia content (i.e., images, video, web links, etc.) — though such content should be integral to the arguments being developed and not a decorative afterthought.

Abstracts for proposed manuscripts (maximum 500 words) should be submitted through the CITE English Education submission system ( by October 31, 2023, at 5pm EST. Please title submissions “Special Issue Abstract: [Article Title].”

Questions about the special issue should be directed to the CITE English journal editors, Phil Nichols ([email protected]) and Brad Robinson ([email protected]).


Abstracts due: October 31, 2023

Authors notified: November 15, 2023

Initial manuscripts due: February 28, 2024

Anticipated publication date: Summer/Fall 2024