12 January, 2011

Technology and Radical Transformation

For those who are interested in the idea of technology and its relation to radical transformation of learning, I've read a couple interesting things recently which look at that idea.

Stephen Downes writes in his 'Half an Hour' blog as part of a discussion around the benefits of technology use in education. He sums up his own argument well, saying

  • "technology does not improve education by making what you are already doing better, it improves education by making what you are not doing possible."

The other resource to explore is the latest issue of the ALT-J journal, entitled 'The Transformational Impact of Learning Technology'. In the introduction the editors write that in this issue they "look for radical change, rather than just doing the same at a different scale." In this issue is the 'Web-based lecture technologies and learning and teaching: a study of change in four Australian universities' paper, where the authors do not see in depth change and conclude that "technologies have been added on, rather than integrated into the curriculum".

These three pieces all give us similar perspectives on learning technology. It's something that enables you to do what you could not before, something that encourages you to completely rethink the way you do things, and something that should be properly integrated into learning design. These ideas give us room for thought and discussion about how technology could affect both our teaching and wider institutional strategies.


Peter Beaumont said...

Selwyn's 2007 paper from the 'Journal of Computer Assisted Learning' called 'The use of computer technology in university teaching and learning: a critical perspective', also approaches this topic in a challenging way.

Peter Beaumont said...

Reading Mark Schofield's article "Learning and teaching enhancement: doing things better and doing better things" - http://www.edgehill.ac.uk/tld/journal/documents/09%20Schofield%20166-185.pdf - there seems to be a link between the Stephen Downes quote above and the Lewis Elton quote in Mark's article. Perhaps a benefit of enabling the use of new tools and technologies, is that that the new things that they enable have a role in enhancement.