Seminar: Pedagogy before technology?

Presentation: Pedagogy before technology? Connections between theory and practice when teaching with digital technologies
Presenter: Dr Louise Drumm, Lecturer DLTE
Recorded: 30th April 2019
Recording: View online |

0:00 | PhD Dr Louise Drumm introducing her PhD work. What are the connections between theory and practice?

2:00 | Talk about impact of technology on learning: disaggregate learning.

2:40 | 2016 focus shifted to digital literacies and impact of tech on society. How are we changing the way to talk about our relationship with technology?

3:30 | Quote: It is time to re-think our task as practitioners and researchers in digital education, not viewing ourselves as the brokers of ‘transformation; or ‘harnessers’ of technological power, but rather as critical protagonists in wider debates on the new forms of education, subjectivity, society and culture worked-through by contemporary technological change (Bayne 2015).

Where are the changes coming from? How does tech site within culture, society, in education?

4:30 | Where’s the theory? We are doing stuff with technology but where are they theory. Is there a bigger picture missing?

5:50 | Role of Learning Theory: talking very narrow and as though is adversarial.

7:10 | The problem – where teaching practices, technology and theory intersect? Does one have precedence over the other? No. Is that a problem?

8:00 | Learning theories : 3 significant theories Behaviourialism (Skinner); Cognitivism (Personalisation); Social Constructivism (understanding of knowledge is constructed by an individual within a social context); A lot of Ed tech is aligned by social constructivism. Question: Is that right thing to do?

10:00 | Technology determinism vs the “black box” : technology has it’s own trajectory where we don’t have any agency over it. The

11:45 | Doctoral research question: What role does theory play in university teaching with digital technologies? Attitudes & experiences of lecturers in their teaching with technology. Relationship with students in relation to teaching and how that maps to learning theory.

14:20 | Rhizome Theory (Deleuze & Guattari 1987) of Learning. A way of thinking about knowledge. The Rhizome is chaotic. It does not grow in a straight line. It is resilient – bits will grow from broken bits. There is no central part and difficult to contain.

15:45 | In contrast is the tree: a hierarchy that grows from a single place and splits into binaries. This is a very western view. Do lecturers use technology in a Rhizomatic way or a Aborescent way?

17:00 | Lecturer approaches can be classified in three ways:

  • Nomads (rhizomatic): Not very structured.
  • Barbarians (intermediate): fluid movement between both spaces
  • Roman Empire (Aborrescent): Highly structured – curriculum, university , discipline, VLEs.
[ 17:55 | “We are socially en tangled with technology.” ]

22:00 | …Nomads & Romans metaphor continued…

24:00 | Why did you use digital technologies for teaching? Classified the types of responses by lecturers into groups (most had 3, a few had all 4):

  • Functional: speed and efficiency in administration of learning, overcome time and space issues. Technology has to work at some level & it has to improve something.
  • Folk pedagogies: the way people learning (learning approach in common-sense terms rather than literature based).
  • Technology Truisms: eg “Students are digital natives” / we have to use it.
  • Educational Theories: smallest group of all groups.

27:00 | Digital teaching practices:

  • 4 styles:
    • Pragmatic: for core teaching – delivering at a distance, flexibility. Highly structured, “arborescent”, instruction heavy.
    • Pedagogic (largest group): using pedagogic informed – doing quizzes, discussions, experiential. Main reason for pedagogic practices was for assessment.
    • Broadcast: clothesline effect T-S
    • Augmented: adding value with technology, capturing the big picture, not for direct assessment.

33:40 | Myths persists amongst lecturers – learning styles, digital natives etc.

35:00 | What is the role of theory?

37:00 | Behaviourism is alive and well: does it have a bad rap? Look at silicon valley’s focus on personalisation.

38:00 | Summary:

  • Arborescence of Learning Theory
  • Rhizome: we are all finding our way through the city to our students through the map. There’s no right or wrong.
  • We need to challenge and reshape theory, think myths as a talking point rather than a right or wrong.

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