Technology-enhanced learning in the context of technological, societal and cultural transformation

Cloudscape created by:

Graham Attwell
13 November 2009

A Workshop on 'Technology-enhanced learning in the context of technological, societal and cultural transformation' is being held on November 30 to December 1 in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Bavaria.

This workshop is organised by Norbert Pachler, the convenor of the London Mobile Learning Group (LMLG) and is part of The Alpine Rendez-Vous, organised within the framework of the STELLAR Network of Excellence ( by the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich.The workshop inter alia seeks to explore the following questions and issues:

  • What relationship is there between user-generated content, user-generated contexts and learning? How can educational institutions cope with the more informal communicative approaches to digital interactions that new generations of learners possess?
  • Learning as a process of meaning-making for us occurs through acts of communication, which take place within rapidly changing socio-cultural, mass communication and technological structures. Does the notion of learner-generated cultural resources represent a sustainable paradigm shift for formal education in which learning is viewed in categories of context and not content? What are the issues in terms of 'text' production in terms of modes of representation, (re)contextualisation and conceptions of literacy? Who decides/redefines what it means to have coherence in contemporary interaction?
  • What synergies are there between the socio-cultural ecological approach to mobile learning, which the group has developed through its work to date, with paradigms developed by different TEL communities in Europe?
  • What pedagogical parameters are there in response to the significant transformation of society, culture and education currently taking place alongside technological innovation?

The LMLG sees learning using mobile devices governed by a triangular relationship between socio-cultural structures, cultural practices and the agency of media users / learners, represented in the three domains. The interrelationship of these three components: agency, the user's capacity to act on the world, cultural practices, the routines users engage in their everyday lives, and the socio-cultural and technological structures that govern their being in the world, we see as an ecology, which in turn manifests itself in the form of an emerging cultural transformation. Another significant trend, which requires pedagogical responses, is the prevalence of what we call 'user-generated contexts'. We are currently witnessing a significant shift away from traditional forms of mass communication and editorial push towards user-generated content and individualised communication contexts. These structural changes to mass communication also affect the agency of the user and their relationship with traditional and new media. Indeed, we argue that users are now actively engaged in shaping their own forms of individualised generation of contexts for learning through individualised communication contexts. New relationships between context and production are emerging in that mobile devices not only enable the production of content but also of contexts. They position the user in new relationships with space, i.e. the outer world, and place, i.e. social space. Mobile devices enable and foster the broadening and breaking up of genres. Citizens become content producers who are part of an explosion of activity in the area of user-generated content. What, we ask, are the implications for education?

The 2-day workshop will be sub-divided into a number of themed sessions. Each of the participants has produced a short briefing paper, accessible in the resources section of this page, and has produced a series of issues and questions. Add your idea on the questions and issues in the clouds associated with this cloudscape.