Week 11-Activities

Activity 11.1

In Week 2, you read Heather Kanuka’s “Understanding e-Learning Technologies-in-Practice through Philosophies-in-Practice.” She argues against social or technological determinism (95–101), but do you find that the way tools like WordPress, Blackboard or PowerPoint are set up lead to similarities in the way they are used? The readings below help us explore this issue further.

On the resources page there is a short exchange between Catherine Adams and Michael Vallance and Phillip Towndrow about whether or not the assumptions implicit in the design of Microsoft PowerPoint significantly affect the way teachers design learning with it. Think about them in terms of all educational technology tools (Learning Management Systems like Moodle, video conferencing tools like Blackboard Collaborate, content management and blogging tools like WordPress, etc.) and how these arguments might apply. These links will require your TRU Library credentials.

The last link is to an essay from Dr. Joseph Goguen at UC San Diego arguing against technological or social determinism.

In the Week 11 forum on Moodle write a post describing your take on the technological determinism arguments. Do the tools you use guide your choices as an educator? Does your understanding of these tools help you to design learning that isn’t bounded by their design? Don’t focus your post on PowerPoint – it’s just a good example to start with – discuss tools that you already use or could use.