EdTech Handbook: Influences & Notes

Update – now got a new working title: Next Generation Learning Design Methods: Using Systems Theory and Design Science.
Further below is the end piece from the old QAA Handbook I did

Update – If there is a slow writing movement I am surely part of it! Every-time I start back on this a new R&D project pops up. But now the Citizen Literacy work has kicked it off again as there is a lot of Learning Design involved. Below is a graphic showing the wide range of influences on the Handbook and some useful notes and Links. If you are interested in finding useful strategic guidance to thinking about more online learning due to COVID I strongly recommend the work of Sir John Daniels links below:

Sir John Daniels: Lessons from the History of Online and Distance Learning:
Simple Concepts to Guide us into the Future:
Webinar Recording
My contribution to the debate 🙂
Albert Einstein does EdTech Strategy

Handbook Influences

A short commentary followed by some useful links:

  • Paulo Friere – The Legend!
  • Enid Mumford – for socio-technical design
  • Diana Laurillard for her conversational model of learning design
  • Ezio Manzini & colleagues – the participatory design design movement
  • Louise Michel – revolutionary and educator – opened a school in London for refugees
  • Sir John Daniels – the continuing relevance and importance of the open and distance learning traditions and their accumulated knowledge
  • Éttiene Wenger – Boundary objects
  • Norm Friesen – History and philosophy of EdTech and Literacy
  • John Comenius – Czech EdTech Innovator and Philosopher – Father of Modern education, EdTech Innovator and proponent of universal access to learning
  • The Frugal Innovation Movement – Indian example of the Clay water powered fridge – has much to teach us
  • Don Norman, Ezio Manzini and Ken Friedman – Design Methods
  • Michael Hardt, Tony Negri and Paul Mason – technology, economics, politics and social change
  • Don Clark for ISD (Instructional Systems Design) – a comprehensive and very humane source of guidance – Highly recommended
  • Don Clark & Cathy Moore Physical and Cognitive Analysis
  • Bloom’s 2 sigma research problem – Another Legend!
  • Peter Senge – applying systems theory
  • Government research – that is reliable!

Teaching as a Design Science Diane Laurillard
Sir John Daniels
Making Sense of Blended Learning: Treasuring an Older Tradition or Finding a Better Future?
Lessons from the History of Online and Distance Learning:
Simple Concepts to Guide us into the Future

Don Clark ISD (Instructional Systems Design)
Don Clark & Cathy Moore
Task Analysis
Éttienne Wenger boundary objects and Communities of Practice
Norm Friesen – The Lecture and the Textbook
Paulo Freire
Design X
Freidman, K. et al (2014) DesignX: A Future Path for Design. Available at https://jnd.org/designx_a_future_path_for_design/
Michael Hardt & Tony Negri
Hardt, M., Negri, A. (2017) Assembly. Oxford University Press.
John Amos Comenius
Enid Mumford
Bloom’s 2 sigma problem
Ezio Manzini
Peter Senge
Paul Mason
Frugal innovation
Systems theory
Haptic activity and learning
Mueller, P. A., & Oppenheimer, D. M. (in press). The pen is mightier than the keyboard: Advantages of longhand over laptop note-taking. Psychological Science.
Louise Michel

Been chewing this one over for a while. It’s along the lines of ‘what the other guides don’t tell you’. Over 10 years ago I did a guide to Flexible Learning for the QAA while working at the UHI. It was received quite well at the time and helped to lay the foundation of the Viewpoints learning design project at Ulster University, while I worked with them on the TrustDR project. A lot of good work has been done in this area but I felt at the time, and now even more so, that there is a lot that is not said or covered because there is a kind of self-censorship in the EdTech scene. I was working towards this when I wrote the Flex learning guide at the end I was talking about the kind of obstacles and delusions that get in the way. Since then I have worked in quite a few organisations and seen the same patterns recurring. So, to kick things off I start by quoting the end of the QAA Flex learning guide:

Some Conclusions on ‘Making it Work’

From the QAA Guide

As we have mentioned above more work needs to be done on examining this aspect of introducing and sustaining change. As Mayes (1995) points out our educational institutions are a part of the wider political, economic and social web of our society, which is itself going through a period of rapid change, aspects of which are being contested. The response of our educational institutions so far to larger, more diverse numbers of students and fewer resources has been ‘more of the same’ (Twigg 2005); larger lectures, longer teaching days, put notes on the web, create ever more ‘content’ – but not share and use it, use virtual learning environments to mimic classrooms, continue to teach as individuals, use expensive academics to teach at a low level, and so on.

As in any period of rapid change the situation is often marked by contradiction, paradox, opportunities and threats to the various players. The path for those who want to change this situation will need some clear thinking, tact, and patience and not be for the faint-hearted. Here is some useful general advice from the economist J.K. Galbraith (2005):

“I have learnt that to be right and useful, one must accept a continuing divergence between approved belief – what I have elsewhere called conventional wisdom – and the reality. And in the end, not surprisingly, it is the reality that counts…

…, out of the pecuniary and political pressures of the time, economics and larger economic and political systems cultivate their own version of the truth. This last has no necessary relation to reality.”

With this general advice to guide us we would recommend the reader to look at the guidance provided by Laurillard (2001) on developing an institutional framework. The guidance she provides is still extremely relevant and useful, like Ramsden (2003) she stresses the need to take a holistic view, to see the institution as an interconnected ‘educational system’, and for that system to be able to learn about itself through proper evaluation of its own activities.