Collaboration: the challenge of ICT

McCormick, Robert (2004). Collaboration: the challenge of ICT. International Journal of Technology and Design Education, 14(2) pp. 159–176.



Abstract Information and communications technology (ICT) brings many potential benefits to technology education, though the evidence of improved performance on traditional tasks is not yet proven. Areas such as computer-aided design and manufacture are now becoming standard elements of any student's technology education. These applications of ICT require changes to the arrangements of the teaching and the learning, but teachers may see few implications for what is learned. Network technologies, on the other hand, offer a new dimension of ICT for tasks such as designing. These dimensions may require a transformation in some aspects of technology education. This article will outline what such networking could do for collaborative learning in technology education, drawing on recent findings from research on learning. It will explore an example of collaborative designing, to see how its potential can be exploited and how it may transform learning in a way that ICT has probably not done so far. Such an exploration will look at both 'learning to collaborate' and 'collaborating to learn', two inter-related themes that are important in, and for, modern design practice in the world outside schools, as well as in research on learning. Although the technologies may yet have to reach maturity to become reliable and easy enough to use in schools, technology educators must be prepared to exploit the learning potential, and this paper is intended to encourage that preparation.

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