FLIP Resource

The power behind the screen: Educating competent technology users in the age of digitized inequality


Digital technologies are deeply embedded in social, economic, and political hegemonies both past and present. Understanding the power dynamics, inequalities, and oppressions at work in and through digital technologies stands as a precondition to educating fully literate, fully competent digital citizens and technology users. This article is situated within an area of overlap between digital literacy and digital competence; that is, it is situated at the overlap of functional and cognitive skills, pedagogy and policymaking. We argue that it is crucial to introduce students to the language and theoretical frameworks examining what power is and how it functions in order to empower students to critically engage with the tangled ethics and power structures attendant with digital technologies and their data.


  • Digital technology cannot be separated from structures of power.
  • It is a myth that data and technology are objective and neutral.
  • Understanding power in technology is necessary for educating digital citizens.

Suggested Citation

Nunes, K., Du, S., Philip, R., Mourad, M.M., Mansoor, Z., Laliberté, N. and Rawle, F. (2022), Science students’ perspectives on how to decrease the stigma of failure. FEBS Open Bio, 12(1), 24-37. https://doi.org/10.1002/2211-5463.13345.


Krystal Nunes
Sherry Du
Riya Philip
Mohammed Majd Mourad
Zainab Mansoor
Nicole Laliberté
Fiona Rawle


FEBS Open Bio
Vol. 12, Iss. 1


Power, Digital literacy, Digital competency, Race/ethnicity, Feminism, Indigenous studies

Publication Date

6 December 2021

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