Technology and the social experience of learning.

On Wednesday 2nd December members of the TELED team attended an event at the Graduate School of Education – Technology and the social experience of learning. Led by Professor Charles Crook, Director of the Learning Sciences Research Institute and Professor of Education at The University of Nottingham. Charles is by trade a Psychologist and his research centres around the role that technology plays in teaching and learning.

The main part of Charles talk centred around central practices in the Educational Landscape – all based on the way technology can mediate exchanges between people.

– Conversations – Collaborations using technology
– Assessment – As a social business and what role technology plays
– Exposition – Presenting as a social experience
– Congregating – gathering of people where knowledge can be generated

Finally the Darkside – not something I will touch on here but Charles views on this can be found in this article –  Cheating with essay mills: an extension of students asking each other for help? (link accessed 8/12/2o15)

Charles discourse on the main themes centred around an aspect that is core to the approach taken by the TELED Team in that technology should be used to support Education and not for the sake of using it. There is a fine line between providing students with all the information they need and the sparks to allow them to research and discover for themselves.

Charles highlighted two cautionary aspects of the Education Landscape where technology has had an impact, the Assessment Cycle and the Lecture. He warned about the over technological approach to the assessment of written work weakening the link between the student as author and the Lecturer as marker. While I do not think this is a new idea the increased role of technology while increasing efficiency on one hand which is wanted by students could be impacting the close relationship with the Tutor.

He also highlighted the presence of technology in the Lecture theatre as marginalising the teacher where they become a side note to a series of bullet points on an enormous display.

I found Charles talk very thought provoking and gave me a good nudge towards a more questioning approach to using technology and refocussed my mind to thinking Education and Pedagogy first and technology second.