Blending technology with pedagogy

Beechener, Keith and Fisher, Wendy (2009). Blending technology with pedagogy. In: Terry, Elizabeth, B.; Jefferies, Amanda, L. and Bracq, Alex eds. Fourth International Blended Learning Conference 2009 “Engaging Students in the Curriculum”. Hertford, UK: University of Hertfordshire Press, pp. 63–68.



The speed at which internet and web platform technologies, including software and hardware development, fast outstrips the speed at which the potential for pedagogic innovation can be, and is being, fully evaluated. Often new technologies are not specifically developed for use within a pedagogic purpose. We also see that development is often rooted in the entertainment businesses. This drives the customer to become familiar with the technology ahead of the educational innovators, making the task of blending them into teaching and learning all the more difficult. The use of a specific technology by a lecturer in higher education for use within their teaching practice is then determined more by what is available rather than using a technology to match the pedagogy. The question is whether to allow the technology to drive the pedagogy or vice versa. Ultimately the masses dictate the take up of new technologies and leave the lecturer and its potential pedagogic use playing catch-up as students move on to the next exciting piece of communication technology. This makes evaluation almost impossible. In this paper the authors have considered some educational frameworks which have helped to inform their choice of technology for pedagogic intent. Although the authors and their experience is based mainly in distance education this paper is aimed at assisting lecturers in higher education generally with a view to selecting appropriate technologies to support their pedagogy. It may therefore be possible to take a different approach, notwithstanding how quickly technologies are adopted and then abandoned.

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