Cyborgs in education

In Hybridisation of Education – leaving the Echo room Tække & Poulsen(2014) describes the effects which the hybridization of current society has had on our educational system. In this article they set up representations of cyborg-student and cyborg-teacher. Posutlating that student have already become cyborg, half-machine and half human.(Tække & Poulsen, 2014, s. 8)
With equipment like tablets, smartphones and laptops the students now have
become cyborgs – hybrids of human and machine. They can when ever they want excess all information, resources, networks,   groups, personal relations, libraries, mass media etc.       accessible through the Internet.

(Tække & Poulsen, 2014, p. 8)

One could view this as an increased cognitive ability, which is one of Bostroms(2009) markers in describing the posthuman condition(Bostrom, 2009, p. 20 ). It is achieved through connectivism with the surrounding world, decentralizing the student as a subject, but expanding their cognitive ability through their connections. Hereby creating a unified humanity through the connectivities, one might dare to say a “shared consciousness” between cyborgs, which is why they achieve enhanced cognitive abilities.

The decentralization of the subject of course draws in a post-anthropocentric(Herbrechter, 2013) view.

The consequence of cyborg-students is that the teachers also need to become cyborg-teachers(Tække & Poulsen, 2014, p. 9), they need to leave the echo room(Tække & Poulsen, 2014, p.14).

One could say that they have to be decentralized as subjects, no longer the all-knowing subject that tells students what the facts are, but a cyborg-teacher facilitating their learning by directing them to new “expert” connections through the connectivism enabled by their their cyborg status. The teachers would also have to become part of the “shared consciousness” also.

Building on Tække and Poulsens(2014) conception of student and teachers as cyborgs, one could speculate that this would achieve a more united post humanity, as i have done above. The conception of what the posthuman is in this article rests upon connections and enhanced cognitive capabilities in a more unified posthumanity, bringing about decentralization of the subject moving toward post-anthropocentrism and as i have suggested maybe a shared consciousness. This is of course contrasted in the text by a conception of human as overly subject centered exemplified especially by the teachers subjectivity and power relations in the class room, which he now have to give up, to become cyborg.


Bostrom, N.(2009) The Future of Humanity. Published in New Waves in Philosophy of Technology, eds. Jan-Kyrre Berg Olsen, EvanSelinger, & Soren Riis (New York: Palgrave McMillan, 2009)

Stefan Herbrechter, ”Towards a critical posthumanism”, from Posthumanism: A critical analysis, London: Bloomsbury, 2013

Tække, J. Poulsen, M.(2014) Hybridisation of Education – leaving the Echo room Paper to: Hybrids Observed with Social Systems Theory. International University Centre (IUC), Dubrovnik, Croatia: May the 15th –18th, 2014.


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Johannes Poulsen
Johannes Poulsen
This is a good example of how the posthuman can function as a form of mythology. What I mean is that the new teaching methods and changed perspective on the role of the teacher could probably have been achieved without referring to the cyborg – or even without the emergence of this new technology! But, the idea of the cyborg is historically tied to a blurring of the borders, a leaving behind of the ontological purity and the hierarchical position of humans above their tools, which in turn makes it much easier to question authority and hierarchy between students and… Read more »