Foundations of Education Technology
Foundations of EdTech (ETEC 511) provided a “deconstruction of the foundations of e-learning, educational technology, learning technologies, and new media” (Feng & Petrina, 2014). The class focused on the different (and sometimes overlapping) anthropological, economic, historical, phenomenological, philosophical, political, psychological, sociological, and spiritual foundations and factors in EdTech. Also presented an interdisciplinary view and critique of these aspects, making clear that the foundations are continually eroding or in flux due to the rapidly changing nature of technology itself.
Linking EdTech + Design Through Framing
Critiquing the foundations of EdTech aligns with the design process in the act of framing or examining an issue from all relevant perspectives. In qualitative research and design, this is considered a type of triangulation used to establish a more complete understanding of a phenomena (Gay, Mills & Airasian, 2009, p. 427).
In both disciplines framing “clarifies the issues by applying insights that create the first level of order from the chaos of all the constraints” (Moggridge & Atkinson, 2007, p.731). In short, this provides the necessary steps to establish a well-rounded and holistic view of relevant factors affecting the use, application and design of educational technologies.
Exploring the readings in this course provided a rich awareness of different dimensions to be considered with regards to educational technology (ie. the ecological-natural, ethical-personal, existential-spiritual, socio-political and technical-empirical dimensions). As a designer who has studied object theory, I was previously aware that objects are more than just the mere tools they are often perceived to be (particularly technological objects). Inherent in the design of technological objects are the affordances and constraints that were vetted and set during the design process in order to shape them, since design cannot take place without constraints (Eames in Moggridge, p.649, 2007). This amounts to different qualities, capabilities, values and even politics manifest in the types of activities they allow, encourage, or discourage when used.
Technological objects have agency (Latour, p.71, 2005), as such we have complex relationships with them that need to be examined from different perspectives. The scholarly essay in the next tab is an example of a phenomenological evaluation of youth attachment to mobile phones. Using this investigative lens, the paper demonstrates how technological advances may cause shifts in sociocultural perspectives which create gaps in the sociopolitical foundations used to inform educational policy.
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Gay, L. R., Mills, G. E., & Airasian, P. W. (2009). Educational research: Competencies for analysis and applications (ed.). Columbus, OH: Pearson.
Latour, B. (2005). Reassembling the social-an introduction to actor-network-theory. Reassembling the Social-An Introduction to Actor-Network-Theory, by Bruno Latour, pp. 316. Foreword by Bruno Latour. Oxford University Press, Sep 2005. ISBN-10: 0199256047. ISBN-13: 9780199256044, 1.
Moggridge, B., & Atkinson, B. (2007). Designing interactions (Vol. 17). Cambridge: MIT press.
Petrina, S., Feng, F., (2013). Module 1: Foundations of Educational Technology . [Lecture Notes]. Vancouver, BC: University of British Columbia.