I’ve spent the day locked in a hotel room trashing out a draft chapter looking at new technologies and their impact on organisations and individuals. The rather grandeous introduction sets the scene.
The central focus of this chapter is a critique of the impact and future implications of new technologies on different aspects of educational systems – the people, organisational structures and processes, and learning and teaching practice. The strong title of this chapter ‘stepping over the edge’ is used to indicate that we are poised on the threshold of major change in education. I will argue that the implications of new technologies – social networking tools, mobile and smart devices, the drive towards near ubiquitous access - are profound and that they will impact on all aspects of educational institutions. These are exciting, but challenging times - the decisions we make as institutions and as individuals within the next few years will have far reaching consequences.
I conclude by putting forward two suggestions for making sense of the complexity.
Having outlined the inherent characteristics of new technologies and discussed the implications for institutions I now want to provide some suggestions of how we might tackle this complexity. I will provide two suggestions from current research and literature: using learning design as a means of guiding teacher practice, and using the notion of metaphors and other methods of meaning making to provide different lenses on the digital landscape and help users navigate through this space. These case studies address specific issues in an educational context. Firstly, how can we design for this new environment, to create pedagogical effective learning activities for our students which met their needs and which harness the affordances of the new technologies? Secondly how can we navigate the complex digital landscape and make sense of the space, how can we represent it and use different metaphors to describe different aspects of the activities occurring?
The draft chapter, riddled no doubt with errors, is available here. Would welcome thoughts!