A recently-released article, where I argue for the value of using music playlists in education research. At time of writing it has 558 downloads, which perhaps means it sneaks into the Top 30, still some way behind Now That's What I Call Social Research and The Very Best of Qualitative Inquiry.
The article is part of a forthcoming special issue of Postdigital Science and Education on the subject of postdigital sound. As well as making the case for sound in education research more generally, I discuss my experience of collaborating with students on the creation of collaborative music playlists. Alongside helping to establish rapport and trust, this approach helped to provoke insights into the learning spaces and practices of these Architecture and History undergraduates. QR codes in the article link to the playlists.
When I was toying with the idea of writing this up as a method, I did wonder whether this might seem especially niche. But then, my ethnographic observation of student practices and spaces had made clear the recurring presence of streamed music. And so I in the article argue that the music playlist works as an ethnographic artefact, offering us insights into educational practices, communities and environments.
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I am a Lecturer in Digital Education (Education Futures), within the Centre for Research in Digital Education at The University of Edinburgh.