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Symposium 2: Sociotechnical theories of learning technology

Networks as platforms for expansive development – examples from a school development ...

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Giota Alevizou
3 May 2010

Exploring sociotechnical theories of learning technology

Symposium Organisers: Linda Creanor & Steve Walker

Glasgow Caledonian University, The Open University, United Kingdom

Interpreting Complexity: a case for the sociotechnical interaction framework as an analytical lens for learning technology research

Linda Creanor & Steve Walker

Glasgow Caledonian University, The Open University, United Kingdom

Network theories for technology-enabled learning and social change: Connectivism and Actor Network theory

Frances Bell, Salford Business School, United Kingdom

The social construction of educational technology through the use of proprietary software

Chris Bissell, The Open University, United Kingdom

Social presence in online learning communities

Karen Kear, The Open University, United Kingdom

 

Extra content

Live blogging & notes:

 

Interpreting Complexity: a case for the sociotechnical interaction framework as an analytical lens for learning technology research

Limitations of learning technology literacture with most important one: persistent technological determinism and mechanistic accounts of technology (Laurillard, 2005; Selwyn, 2007)

key critical frameworks to connextualise tensions:

social shaping of technology

Sociotechnical interaction network: heterogenous network including socio-economic and political relationships

  • ecological view of technology
  • 'user' replaced by the social actor
  • technology open to local adaptation

Contextualise higly enttwined' applications

Wikis (technologically simple yet organisationally and socially complex)

Twitter (celebrities; social and demographic characteristics, etc)

Giota Alevizou
11:22 on 3 May 2010 (Edited 11:25 on 3 May 2010)

Frances Bell critiquing connectivism: Network theories for technology-enabled learning and social change: Connectivism and Actor Network theory

Is it coherent theory or a loose connection of ideas? what are the similarties with actor network theorry?

Actor network theory (ANT)

  • symmetrical analysis: humans and non-humans
  • how a network grows/decays rather than explain outcomes
  • process of growth/decay is one of translation

Social buzz about connectivism in the blogosphere since the mid 2000s  vs. appropriation of ANT by the scholarly community (based on google scholar searches)

Some interesting observations

  • paradox of structures on teaching/learning vs. delivery mode
  • groups/network discussion (see http://tinyurl.con/sisikate
  • Stephen Downes revealed normative accounts about connectivism
  • connectivism a personal theory for practitioners, rather than a research (and empirically focused or rigorous theory)
  • connectivism as a knowledge network, learning from itself
  • BUT it ineeds rich case studies to explore:
    • social changes
    • learning changes

 

Giota Alevizou
11:37 on 3 May 2010

The social construction of educational technology through the use of proprietary software

Chris Bissell, The Open University, United Kingdom

Chris continuing on the social contsructionist and socially shaped synthesis of theories on technologies in learning.

Applications in audio,  graphics and translations remixed and reappropriated proprietary apps at OU

Concluding

  • avoid being prescriptive in the use of educational technology
  • find out what really teachers and learners are really dong with technology
  • find out how to enable teachers and learners use something that is pedagogically valueable for their needs

Giota Alevizou
11:53 on 3 May 2010

Karen on the role of social presence in online leanring communities

  • value for learning
  • dialgue, collaboration, motivation
  • tensions and challenges
  • mis-understandings, anxiety, unreal, flaming

Social presence is not about nice-ness

  • Learners' views and needs (based on empirical data from OU students)
  • Need to get to know something about others
    • - a way of visualising each other
    • - background for people's contributions

Social presensce: a technical or social issue?

relates to both the 'richness' of the social interface and the behaviours of participants (text, emoticons, style and tone of interaction)

Features to social presence support

  • user profiles and visual representaiton of participants
  • real-time communciation

Social aspects

technical aspects in the system (bandwidth, representation) influences the degree of perception about the social presence, which in turn affects the way in which participants behave.

 

Giota Alevizou
12:07 on 3 May 2010

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