Reading Reflections 1

Published November 20, 2016 by lagmen


some thoughts on my reading so far this week.

Selwyn, N., 2011, Education and Technology, Key issues and debates, London: Continuum,


Selwyn defines education or in wider terms, learning, and explores the differences between formal and informal learning whilst briefly considering some of the social impacts on learning. He discusses the origins of technology and using the concept by Lievrouw and Livingstone, the link is made between society and technology which could be concluded as object, activity and context . He details the differences between analogue and digital and goes on to summarise the meaning of the digital age.


“Technology is understood as the process by which humans modify nature to suit their needs” Selwyn goes on to discuss other reasons why we use technology, to make things cheaper (page 6) , easier, faster and more social. Are these reasons hierarchal? How do they differ between cultures?

“Technologies are an important part of the conditions of social life.” (page 9). What are the differences in interaction between those who have conditions involving communicating or social issues.

To find out

How to apply a sociotechnological viewpoint to an idea (studying in 2000 and 2016?), further reading on Liewrouw and Livingstone (2002) aspects of technology


The well known meme shared on social media, A  modified Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, confirming that the digital age has become embedded in society and that the need for connectedness is paramount.


image: Apple The icon for the new home app on the recent apple software update. This signifies that technology is embedded in society and everyone is engaging with it, at increasingly digitalised levels.


image : Daily Mail. Children sharing an ipad. This can be critiqued using the object, activity and context method and demonstrates how aspects of socio technology are active in learning.

Note – On finding this image in the Daily Mail, I wrongly assumed the accompanying text would be a negative perception of technology. This has reinforced to me that I should be able to identify balanced viewpoints and research a range of sources, including those that may differ from my proposed ideas.


Edwards, R. (2009) Introduction: Life as a learning context in Biesta, G., London: Routledge.


Edwards looks at the growing emergence of lifelong learning and states that learning can be found in many contexts. He definines that learning is set by context which can be a framework to be filled or a set of shared practices, emerging from community. He explores the increasing role pedagogy takes in a society with lifelong learning. Throughout the concept of transferable knowledge/skills is applied. He discusses the conflict between the relevance of what should be taught – real life skills and abstract.


Could there be considered to be a spectrum between formalised context and informal learning?

There are wide differences in cultural attitudes and approaches to learning, where do they fit in this spectrum?

How has the introduction of Integrated learning/curriculums/an Early Years approach fit in with this concept?

To find out

How does this approach fit specifically into technology learning? (Mary Thorpe, Technology mediated contexts, chapter in the same book)


Accompanying photos to a CNN piece discussing the OECD results from 2013 where East Asian countries (known for their traditional teaching methods and rote teaching) were very successful and the top European country was Finland (known for not starting formal teaching till age 7 and emphasising the importance of play). These images highlight some of the differences  between formal and informal learning styles.



An image of children playing in an EY setting in Hampshire.  displaying a range of contexts for learning. This child might be counting cars going down the tube (a discrete skill taught in formal learning) whilst taking turns with her friend (a shared practice acquired from practice across settings) and sharing her knowledge of cars from her home life (transferring her knowledge from another learning situation).



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