An upcoming special issue on Theorising the Educational Use of Technology
31 December 2019
Theorising the Educational Use of Technology
The key purpose of this special issue is to develop our understanding of the role of theory in technology and learning. The choice of topic reflects an awareness of the challenges facing researchers in our field. These challenges include:
- addressing a general concern that the use of technology (and for that matter research into education in general) is under-theorised. How can we best argue for the importance of the theory and make clear its contribution to understanding our field?
- communicating theory to users of research. How does theory become mediated by academics and practitioners? How, if at all, does theoretical insight influence practice?
- identifying theorising as a distinctive step in the research process: What do researchers do when they are theorising? Can approaches really be characterized as inductive or deductive? What kind of knowledge do researcher think they are producing?
- identifying shifts in the use of theoretical frameworks. We know that frameworks such as actor network theory, activity theory, and community of practice come in and out of fashion. Why does one theory evoke enthusiasm at a particular time and when and why does that theory become stale?
- evaluating different kinds of theoretical contribution in the field. For example what are the strengths and limitations of models such as TAM? Are schema such as TPCK more normative than explanatory? What has social theory to offer?
- asking where next for theory and theorising? For example where might interdisciplinary approaches be developed? How can we avoid taking frameworks from other disciplines and using them off-the peg? What would a distinctively homegrown theory of technology and pedagogy look like? Where are related fields moving in their use of theory?
- where next for theory and theorising? For example where is the role of theory in an age of Big Data and data analytics?
The context for these papers is broad and includes schools, teacher education, higher education and informal settings.
Cristina Costa (University of Strathclyde)
Michael Hammond (University of Warwick)
Sarah Younie (De Montfort University)