Posted by: MandyS | April 29, 2014

Back to the chicken and the egg syndrome?

So the tension between technology and pedagogy has not gone away, even in an Open world. Weller (2011) suggests an iterative dialogue here i.e. it is ‘technology that opens up new possibilities, never intended by its designers, which feeds theoretic development, which feeds back to technological development’. Simples! But yes, this is the reality. From the learning theories will develop either new technologies or old technologies used in a new way. Teachers and learners are time bound, so more effective and efficient ways of teaching and learning are ever sought; institutions are subject to cost accountability, so more cost-effective and efficient ways of achieving this are ever sought.  Teach the basics of the English Legal System via the VLE and then support students in going out and developing their own ways of using technology to discover how the English Legal System actually works in practice e.g. Twitter to connect with professionals. Arguably, it is of no consequence as to which is more important, it is how they interact to provide the learner experience learners want that is paramount.

So the second reality following on from this is that one ‘cannot underestimate the role of people and context in which technology is used’ (Weller, 2011).  If neither teacher nor learner can use the tools efficiently or effectively they are likely to not use them at all. Given that the open world is dependent on digital literacy, this is perhaps the greatest hurdle of all.


Weller, M. (2011) The Digital Scholar: How Technology is Transforming Academic Practice, London, Bloomsbury Academic. Also available online at (Accessed 27 April 2014).


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