Designing for learning is one of the key challenges facing education today. Digital technologies offer a wealth of opportunities for fostering communication, collaboration and reflection. Social media mean that learners are now part of a global community of peers. Mobile technologies mean that learning anywhere, anytime is now a reality. New technologies are emerging all the time, such as Augmented Reality and Artificial Intelligence, which clearly have the potential to have a significant impact on education. One of the most prominent affordances of technologies is that they enable more open practices and Open Educational Resources (OER) and Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) are challenging traditional educational offerings. Despite the potential of technologies, teachers lack the necessary digital literacies to use them effectively and uptake of the use of technologies has been limited. The paper will consider the types of new literacies teachers need, in particular in relation to adopting more open practices using technologies.
One of the best ways of addressing the lack of uptake of technologies is through Learning Design, which helps make pedagogically informed design decisions that make appropriate use of technologies, and a range of frameworks have emerged in recent years. This paper will describe some of these frameworks and consider how they can be used to enable more open practices, making effective use of technologies. It also addresses some of the conference themes, such as: why open and what are the perceived benefits? Open for whom? Whose interests are served? In what ways has the open agenda been appropriated, and what are the implications of this? It will also consider in what sense open education is part of the broader ecosystem of “opens”. The session will be interactive, with participants exploring these questions in the session and via the conference hashtag.
It will argue that the use of digital technologies is not a single entity and that today’s educational context is complex and dynamic and digital technologies add to this complexity. Arguably teaching and learning are set in a wider and constantly changing techno-ecosystem with which individuals interact and co-evolve. The paper will reflect on Pea’s classification of phases of technology interaction: ‘cultural mediated’ (face-to-face), ‘symbol mediated’ (letters and numbers), ‘communication mediated’ (TV, radio, phone), ‘network mediated’ (wireless, database, internets) and ‘cyber infrastructure mediated’ (cloud computing, intelligence of crowds, constant contact, sensors networks). Pea’s phases maps nicely to the concept of a complex ecology metaphor, as they demonstrate an evolving, increasingly complex and nuanced digital landscape, which relates to the affordances of digital technologies, as well as the co-evolution of technologies and people. Put another way this ecological perspective recognises that as technology shapes society so does society shape technology. The paper will conclude with consideration of the opportunities and challenges of adopting an open agenda.
The session will be interactive with opportunities for participants to engage with the questions posed in the presentation, either during the face-to-face session or via the conference hashtag. The presentation will be made available to participants, along with relevant references and resources.
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