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Seminar Series - Technostructural Knowledge: E-learning and Academic Capital

Date: 23 March 2011 Time: 12.30 - 2.00 p.m.

Venue: IAS MR1

Dr Drew Whitworth

School of Education, University of Manchester

This presentation reports some results from a research project conducted across five case studies of online learning teams based in both the US and UK. The project looked at how these teams formed communities of practice, and how these communities then learnt about and stewarded the digital habitats (see Wenger, White and Smith 2009) in which they undertook their work. Could the technologies-in-use in these habitats respond to their learning? Or did they remain inflexible and required their users to adapt practice to the technology rather than the other way around? If so, what were the impacts of this on the team's learning? We conclude that as well as technological, pedagogical and content knowledge (TPCK: see Mishra and Koehler 2006), e-learning communities of practice require organisational knowledge - an understanding of how technology is used to maintain or erode divisions of labour, status and professional development within the modern university. This kind of knowledge is what allows communities of practice to accumulate academic capital (Bourdieu) and thereby shape technology in the image of their own learning, rather than being subordinate to it.


Who can attend: Anyone


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