This paper traces ten years of development of the concept of the postdigital in the works of six scholars (Richard Hall, Ian Truelove, David White, Mark Childs, David Cormier, and Lawrie Phipps) acting under the collective pseudonym the 52group. The first part of the paper reproduces the 52group’s manifesto entitled ‘Preparing for the postdigital era’. The second part of the paper reproduces 2015 responses to ‘Preparing for the postdigital era’ published on group members’ blogs and websites. The third part of the paper brings together group members’ responses written in 2019 for the purpose of this article. The conclusion analyses these developments and situates them within recent developments in postdigital thinking. The article provides deep insights into the nature of our postdigital reality and offers two main contributions. First, the article offers some intellectual ancestry for postdigital theory and practice. Second, the article offers a unique insight into the evolution of feelings of people who have thought deeply about our postdigital era. With these contributions, the article offers a much-needed historical view to the postdigital and situates current postdigital thought into wider philosophical, social, and educational contexts.
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Editing included turning hyperlinks into standard academic references (which has unfortunately somewhat changed the original ‘feel’ of the text). Following Postdigital Science and Education house style, various spellings such as ‘Postdigital’, ‘post-digital’, and ‘post digital’ have been standardized to ‘postdigital’ everywhere except in conferences names and publication titles.
‘Preparing for the postdigital era’ (52group 2009) was collectively written by members of the 52group and published without established order of authorship.
The JISC-funded Open Habitat project was a collaboration between the University of Oxford, Leeds Metropolitan University, King’s College London, the University of Essex and Dave Cormier, based in Prince Edward Island. It took an innovative approach to encouraging creative online collaboration in multi-user virtual environments (MUVEs)—the online 3D spaces in which each user is represented by an 'avatar' or 3D character. http://www.tall.ox.ac.uk/research/past/habitat.php .
This text was used as header to all blog/website responses reproduced in this section.
In ‘How to Stop Worrying and Learn to Love the Internet’, Douglas Adams (1999) attributes the quote to the computer scientist Bran Ferren.
This quote arrives from a now dysfunctional link at https://leedspostgrad4fairpay.wordpress.com/ . Since Hall published this text on his blog in 2015, the authors have deleted the website.
Richard Hall supplemented this contribution with a wide bibliography which can be found at http://www.richard-hall.org/2019/04/03/education-technology-and-the-end-of-the-end-of-history (Hall 2019).
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Petar Jandrić would like to thank Gordon Asher for introducing him to writings of the 52group and for thoughtful discussions which inspired development of this article.
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Cormier, D., Jandrić, P., Childs, M. et al. Ten Years of the Postdigital in the 52group: Reflections and Developments 2009–2019. Postdigit Sci Educ 1, 475–506 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s42438-019-00049-8