Technocentrism is the tendency to view technology as a central component for addressing complex social issues and driving transformative changes in education. This perspective prioritizes the adoption of technological tools, platforms, and digital resources to enhance educational outcomes without adequately considering the broader educational context. Technocentric thinking separates digital technologies from their social and cultural context and suggests a one-way influence of technology on educational policies and practices.

The term technocentrism was first introduced by Seymour Papert in 1987, who contrasted it with his preferred approach, "computer criticism," which placed computers in socio-cultural perspective. Papert criticized the question, "What is THE effect of THE computer on cognitive development?" for ignoring factors such as skill, design, social structure, and cultural integration.

Hamilton and Friesen describe an essentialist approach to educational technology that maps closely to technocentrism, expecting technical functionality to lead to the realization of associated human potential once the technology is in place. However, instrumental approaches, which frame technology as a tool operating according to human goals, can also oversimplify the relationship between technology and social, cultural, economic, and other factors in education.

Another approach to countering technocentrism draws on sociomaterial and posthumanist theory, engaging with materials from a relational perspective and accounting for unintended consequences and range of practices and outcomes associated with digital education. Entangled pedagogy emphasizes the intertwined nature of technology and pedagogy, mutually shaping and influencing each other in complex ways.

While technocentric thinking is prevalent in digital education research and practice, it is generally a term applied critically to others' work rather than a description of an established position. Nevertheless, technocentrism continues to be observable in both practical and theoretical forms, and ongoing efforts to work against forms of technocentrism have led to new insights and alternative perspectives in the field of educational technology.