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Lecture, face-to-face
Technology, society, and education
Drop-in tech demo
Using blogs, wikis, and Twitter in class

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Lecture: Technology, society, and education

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FilmIcon.pngVideo. The machine is us/ing us

IconSpanner.PNGPreparation for this tute

1. We strongly suggest you have a look at the tute plan (below) for this tutorial. You'll see that the activities we'll be doing are quite structured.

2. Read and think about the following resources; they're not massive and not difficult, but hopefully thought-provoking. There is a study guide for each reading further down this page. If you don't have time to read each resource, then at least read the study guides -- the study guides are designed to help you if you're time-poor. These resources are available on E-reserve for this unit

TutorialIcon2.pngTutorial: Technology, society, and education

We have made a program for this tute. So proud. Print it out and bring it to the tute if you want.

And here it is for those who prefer a 'click through' format:

View it on Voicethread

This tutorial is brought to you by the following provocations:
  • To whom am I accountable?
  • Am I ready to teach?
  • What will students want and need from me?

This tute is structured so that you
  • Articulate your personal opinions, beliefs, and experiences regarding the topic of technology, society, and education
  • Consider others' opinions, beliefs, and experiences regarding the topic
  • Search for commonalities regarding the topic
  • Identify legitimate issues that affect schools in relation to the topic
  • Bring rigour to your thinking around the topic
  • Build your knowledge and understanding of the topic

Meg will 'float' between groups to answer questions, clarify things, whatever.

Tute structure

2.45 pm (5 mins): Meg to introduce structure of session

2.50 pm (0 mins): Settle upon some people to fill the following roles:
  • Time-keeper (one for each group you form). You know what your job is ;)
  • Facilitator (4 needed, 1 for each consulting group). You will need to 1) facilitate a large 'consulting group' conversation (up to 30 people), 2) report back on that conversation to the whole community (all the grad dips), and then 3) lead the final discussion in your consulting group.
  • Scribe (4 needed, 1 for each consulting group). You will tweet the large 'consulting group' conversation. Yes, interesting use of the term 'scribe', I know. Your hashtag will be #inspireteal, #inspireflexi, #inspirestudio1, or #inspirestudio2, depending on your location. This doesn't mean that others in the group can't tweet your room, just that the scribe has set responsibility for doing so.

2.50 pm (20 mins): Form a home group of 5 - 6 people
Share your personal opinions and experiences regarding technology, society, and education. You might also want to refer to lectures, the readings, and resources on this page, or anything else you find useful. The questions below can be used to guide your discussion. You'll soon see that the questions are deliberately provocative and value-laden. Don't forget to appoint a time-keeper.
  • What is the role of technology in education?
  • Why can't schools keep up?
  • Why can't teachers keep up?
  • Can anyone keep up?
  • Why should we use technology in teaching?
  • Is technological determinism really that bad?
  • Why are schools so dysfunctional?
  • Is learning changing?

3.10 pm (30 mins): Merge your home groups into 4 large 'consulting' groups.
Facilitator, scribe, and time-keeper needed
You should be located in the following places:
  • The TEAL room (#inspireteal)
  • The flexi space (#inspireflexi)
  • Studio 1 (#inspirestudio1)
  • Studio 2 (#inspirestudio2)

Look for common ideas and themes regarding technology, society, and education. Don't forget to appoint a time-keeper.
  • At this stage, you should identify what are the 3 or 4 key areas of technology, society, and education that need addressing, discussing, further investigation, or further understanding.
  • Try to get some agreement, but where there is disagreement, record the 'dissenting opinions'.
  • Appoint a facilitator to keep control of the discussion and to report back to the other consulting groups.
  • Appoint a 'scribe' to tweet your conversation. Your hashtag will be #inspireteal, #inspireflexi, #inspirestudio1, or #inspirestudio2, depending on your location.

3.40 pm (20 mins): Consulting groups report back to the community group
Each room will take it in turns to broadcast into the other rooms as a 'report back'.
  • The facilitator will report back on the 3 or 4 key areas of technology, society, and education that they have identified as need addressing, discussing, further investigation, or further understanding.
  • Use the Twitter feed generated by your consulting group as a prompt and as a way of demonstrating how the discussion ebbed and flowed.
  • Be sure to report on any particularly interesting comments, suggestions, queries, or provocations that were made in the consulting group.
  • Meg will act as time-keeper.

4.00 pm (30 mins): Break your consulting groups up into expert groups of 4 people -- no more, no less, OK? ;)
Your task is to brief your (admittedly, imagined) school principal on staff and student needs as regards issues relating to technology, society, and education. The idea here is that you act as 'experts' in what you have considered, basing your brief on evidence and informed opinion as opposed to personal opinion (e.g., 'Facebook is great!' 'Facebook sucks!'). 'Dissenting judgements' are still allowed, but they need to be backed by evidence and argument as opposed to unsubstantiated belief. Don't forget to appoint a time-keeper.

In particular, your briefing points might include:
  • Current issues (e.g., student and staff literacies? access? staff professional development needs?)
  • Current shortfalls and strengths of the school system that impact on these issues
  • Potential stumbling blocks and (legal!) ways around them
  • Final recommendations (aim for 3)

Tip: Use the report-backs of the consulting groups as well as references to resources (any proper, scholarly literature you have looked at would be great!) to inform your brief.

4.30 pm (15 mins): Reform your consulting group and share your briefing points
Each expert group will give an overview of its briefing, including recommendations. It will be interesting to see what you've come up with! The facilitator should lead this process. Don't forget to appoint a time-keeper.

4.45 pm (15 mins): Personal reflection time
  • What can use from today's tute in Assignment 1?
  • What I can use in to inform my teaching practice?
  • How will I use this in my prac?
  • Start building your '10 tips' for new teachers. Reflecting on what you've learnt today, write down any 'tips' you might give to beginning teachers. By the end of the semester, you should have a consolidated list of your 'top 10 tips'.

5 pm: Requiem for a Tute (@ the Lighthouse)

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Study guide: Attwell (2007)

Is it really that dysfunctional?

Attwell, Graham. 2007. Web 2.0 and the changing ways we are using computers for learning: what are the implications for pedagogy and curriculum? Available at Accessed 21 January 2010.

This resource is available on E-reserve for this unit

Key point: Things have moved on since the industrial revolution and new technologies challenge the traditional roles of educational systems. We now have the potential for institutions to engage with the learner, not the other way round.

Choose a question or topic area that interests you and explore it with a study buddy:
  • Attwell talks about pedagogies developed through the industrial revolution. Why is digital challenging this paradigm? What examples can you provide (not just from Education, but from elsewhere, too)? (section 2) boyd (sic — you might want to ask or google why …) in Attwell says that the “digital world requires people to write themselves into being”? What are the implications? advantages? pitfalls? What does this mean for the concept of ‘identity’? (section 3)
  • Attwell identifies three areas of ‘dysfunction’ in the current education system: educational technologies, networking, sharing and collaboration, and curriculum. In what ways are these areas dysfunctional? How and when will things change? What will be needed for change? Can things change? (section 4)
  • How can technology help the institution to engage with the learner, not the other way round? (section 5)
  • Which of the four rationales for ICT in education (cf Toni Downes) do you think Attwell is advocating? A, B, C, or D? Refer to the lecture notes for a reminder of the rationales.

StudyGuideIcon.pngStudy guide: Conole (2008)

Will Web 2.0 really save education?

Conole, Grainne. 2008. New schemas for mapping pedagogies and technologies, Ariadne Issue 56, July. Available at Accessed 21 January 2010.

This resource is available on E-reserve for this unit

Key point: Web 2.0 tools make constructivist and social constructivist approaches to education more possible than before.
  • Is it about the technology or the pedagogy? Discuss!
  • How does Web 2.0 align with current thinking about good pedagogy? Hint: Think about how constructivist and ‘connectivist‘ approaches are different from behavioural or cognitive ones. Also, think about what Web 2.0 tools foster and encourage in terms of participation, collaboration, networking, communication, reflection, sharing.
  • How will curriculum and assessment have to change if we are to make the most of these Web 2.0 tools for teaching and learning? Think about personalised assessment; think about what we teach and why (the hidden curriculum?).
  • As you’re reading, think about the synergies between Web 2.0 as a collaboration, participation etc. web, and constructivism.
  • You might also want to consider how these issues link in with the benefits and challenges of ICT in education identified in the lecture.


Study guide: Arquilla (2008)

“Why on earth am I reading about tanks?!”

Arquilla, John. 2008. Network warfare. Technology Review. Vol. 111, Iss. 2. p. 12.

external image tank2.jpg
This resource is available on E-reserve for this unit

Key point: Technological change often outstrips systemic change.
  • The article links in with key themes explored in the week 2 lecture, in particular, technology as usage (hardware, manufacturing, methods, systems).
  • Start thinking about the impacts that technological tools have on systems of organisation … what about the school or education system?
  • What will be the implications for Education if there’s a “disjunction between technology and organization”?
  • What other socio-technical systems can you think of that might be “swamped” as we move from large-scale industrial structures to more nimble digital networks?

Any questions, remarks, observations? Leave a comment below.


Study guide: Laurillard (2007)

external image TechnologyLearning.gif“To what extent does technology change the nature of learning?”

Laurillard, Diana. 2007. Technology in the service of our educational ambitions: Bringing it into the mainstream. Slideshow presentation. Available at Accessed on 21 January 2010.

This resource is available on E-reserve for this unit.

Key point: The nature of learning may not change, but how we go about the task will.
  • You can skip over the first eight slides, if you want. We’re really just interested in the conversations around learning technologies, starting at slide 9
  • Laurillard points out some of the negatives around learning technologies (as does Conole). What are the dangers of technological determinism in education? Can this deterministic drive be seen elsewhere in society? What is Laurillard getting at when she says that the “‘information age mindset’ undermines the development knowledge”? (slide 9)
  • Slide 11. What do you know about the active learning processes listed? What is active learning?
  • Slide 12. Laurillard supplies a list of the types of tools and techniques that technology can support in active learning. Which will be relevant to your students? Fieldwork? Modelling? Scenarios? Game authoring?
  • Is Laurillard correct when she states that “‘what it takes to learn’ will not change?” Why or why not? How does this stand with her two following claims that what is learned and how it is learned will change?
  • Consider Laurillard’s analysis of old media and delivery technologies in light of Henry Jenkins’ claim in Cultural Convergence that “Delivery systems are simply and only technologies; media are also cultural systems.”
  • If you’ve got time, you might want to check out some of Laurillard’s links on the final five slides — or you can at least bookmark them for later if you think they might be useful for your assignments.

IconGears.pngTech demo drop-in: Blogs

Blogs on the Using Social Media in the Classroom website
Week 5 online lecture: Teaching with blogs

Blog examples

IconGears.pngTech demo drop-in: Wikis

Wikis on the Using Social Media in the Classroom website
Week 7 online lecture: Teaching with wikis

Wiki examples

We'll also be exploring the Wikipedia entry on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

IconGears.pngTech demo drop-in: Twitter

Twitter allows people to compose short, frequent messages or ‘tweets’ of up to 140 characters that are distributed via the Twitter network on the internet. People on Twitter can follow and invite others, set up lists, send photos, and tweet privately.

  • ‘Hashtags’ (keywords that are preceded by a hash ‘#’ symbol) are used by Twitter users to tag up their tweets so that others can find messages on topics of mutual interest. Hashtags are also used to map ‘trends’ on the site: if many tweets on a topic suddenly receive the same hashtag, then the topic can be said to be ‘trending’.
  • Twitter direct message each other by adding an ‘@’ symbol to the main recipient’s username in the message they are sending.



IconBooks.PNGFurther reading: Education and new technologies

This reading is not compulsory. It is provided for extension only. Many, but not all, of these resources are available on E-reserve for this unit.

Anderson. P. (2007). What is Web 2.0? Ideas, technologies and implications for education. JISC Technology and Standards Watch, February 2007. Available at Accessed 1 November 2011.

Atwell, G. (2007). Web 2.0 and the changing ways we are using computers for learning: what are the implications for pedagogy and curriculum? Available at Accessed 13 October 2011.

Bostrom, N. (2007). Technological revolutions: Ethics and policy in the dark. In Cameron, N. M. de S., & Mitchell, M. E. (eds) Nanoscale: Issues and Perspectives for the Nano Century, John Wiley, 2007. Hoboken, New Jersey, pp 129 – 152.

Davies, J., & Merchant, G. (2009). Education and Web 2.0: Transforming learning – an Introduction (Chapter 1). Web 2.0 for Schools. Learning and social participation. New York: Peter Lang, pp 1 – 10.

Lankshear, C., & Knobel, M. (2006). Blogging as participation: The active sociality of a new literacy. Paper presented to the American Educational Research Association, San Francisco, US. April 11, 2006. Available at Accessed 13 October 2011.

IconBooks.PNGFurther reading: Blogs

This reading is not compulsory. It is provided for extension only. Many, but not all, of these resources are available on E-reserve for this unit.

Byington, T. A. (2011). Communities of practice: Using blogs to increase collaboration. Intervention in School and Clinic 46 (5), 280 – 291.

Laia, H., & Chenc, C. (2011). Factors influencing secondary school teachers’ adoption of teaching blogs. Computers & Education 56 (4), 948 – 960.

McGrail, E., & Davis, A. (2011). influence of classroom blogging on elementary student writing. Journal of Research in Childhood Education 25 (4), 415 – 437.

Sawmiller, A. (2010). Classroom blogging: What is the role in science learning? The Clearing House 83, 44 – 48.


Further reading: Wikis

This reading is not compulsory. It is provided for extension only. Many, but not all, of these resources are available on E-reserve for this unit.

Andes, L., & Claggett, E. (2011). Wiki writers: students and teachers making connections across communities. The Reading Teacher 64 (5), 345 – 350.

Davies, J. (2004). Wiki brainstorming and problems with wiki. MSc Project submitted September 2004. Available at Accessed 13 October 2011.

Huvila, I. (2010). Where does the information come from? Information source use patterns in Wikipedia. Information Research 15 (3). Available at Accessed 3 November 2011.

Glassman, M., & Kan, M. J. (2011). The logic of wikis: The possibilities of the Web 2.0 classroom. Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning 6 (1), 93 – 112.

Schillinger, T. (2011). Blurring boundaries: Two groups of girls collaborate on a wiki. Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy 54 (6), 403 – 413.

Woo, M., Chu, S., Ho, A., & Li, X . (2011). Using a wiki to scaffold primary-school students’ collaborative writing. Journal of Educational Technology & Society 14 (1), 43 – 54.

Zammit, K. (2010). Working with wikis: Collaborative writing in the 21st century. Key Competencies in the Knowledge Society. In Reynolds, N., & Turcsányi-Szabó, M. (eds) Advances in Information and Communication Technology, held as Part of WCC 2010, Brisbane, Australia, September 20-23, 2010. Proceedings, Vol. 324, 447 – 455.


Further reading: Twitter

This reading is not compulsory. It is provided for extension only. Many, but not all, of these resources are available on E-reserve for this unit.

Murthy, D. (2011) Twitter: Microphone for the masses? Media, Culture & Society 33 (5), 779 – 789.

Weaver, A. (2010). Twitter for teachers, librarians and teacher librarians. Access 24 (2), 16 – 20.