Eye glassses, magnifying glass, notebook, pen and postcards placed on an old map

Criticality, theory and research

We are enthusiastic about technology enhanced learning, but we are also critical. We want to improve learning using technology, but we understand that there is no single or direct relationship between technology, learning and education. We recognise the need to theorise the complex role of technology in educational practices. That if we want to change learning and education using technology, we must account for theories of learning, education, and institutional change. That if we want to change the world by improving education, we must account for the wider nature of that world: sociologically, politically, historically, and economically. That we must develop disparate visions of technology enhanced learning that learn from, further develop, and speak back to other disciplines—so understanding the nuances of educational phenomena from a range of perspectives. That theorising technology enhanced learning and engaging with academic fields is a necessary precursor to empirical advancement and the changing of real-world practice.

Our work on criticality, theory and research investigates issues like:

  • How can we characterise practices of learning using technology, taking into account that 'learning' is a term describing a range of processes?
  • How can we theorise the roles of technology in different forms of educational practice?
  • To what extent do academic learning theories influence or diverge from educational practice?
  • What does it mean to support 'critical pedagogy' in a connected world and a globalised economy?
  • How can we theorise the roles of technology in learning as foregrounding more than the verbal and the written?
  • What does it mean for humans to 'collaboratively' learn using technology?
  • What do we mean by 'innovation' and 'creativity' in technology enhanced learning?
  • How can we theorise the 'visual' and the 'multimodal' in technology enhanced learning, and foreground those issues in research methodology?