Disparities in the technology practices, skills and knowledge of school students still exist, despite widespread investment, and use in schools. In order to understand why inequalities remain, we first need a more nuanced understanding of students’ technology practice, including understanding how their backgrounds, circumstances and experiences shape their perceptions of and engagement with technology. This paper proposes that research in the field of educational technology would benefit from a sociological framing in order to highlight how and why students use technology at school and in their everyday lives. The paper reports on a qualitative embedded case study of 13–16‐year‐old students in two Australian secondary schools. In‐depth case studies of two selected students illustrate the complex nature of students’ technology practice. Bourdieu's concepts of field, habitus and capital are used as a lens through which to view and understand inequalities in students’ technology practice. The findings demonstrate the utility of sociological theory in educational technology research by highlighting systems and structures of reproduction and transformation. Furthermore, the findings can inform an approach to teaching and learning that considers students’ varied experiences, knowledge, perspectives and backgrounds relating to technology.