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Strategic development of educational technologies
Malmö University.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-6937-1032
2014 (English)In: Educational Development in a changing world, 16-18 June, 2014, Stockholm, 2014Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

This paper addresses strategic educational development of educational technologies. A case study (Yin, 1994) is made of a higher education organisation exploring potential for social media as educational technology. The analysis highlights the value of understanding characteristics of social media in relation to formal information and communication systems as Learning Management Systems (LMS). Technical action is an exercise of power (Feenberg and Friesen, 2012), and the value lies in acknowledging complexity in technology adoption for education (Ferneding, 2003).

 A relationship between social media and LMS is therefore discerned by using the analytical concepts risk and autonomy, argued to be of specific relevance for higher education. Educational technology researchers use the concept risk, not as a theoretical or analytical concept but as describing a change where technological deterministic approaches and politicization are risk factors for (autonomous) education (Ferneding, 2003; Selwyn, 2011 and 2013). Autonomy in the context of the interplay between higher education and digital technology can describe a desired learner autonomy (Boud, 2012), or where student’s expectations of social autonomy from digital technology can create a tension in higher education of de-professionalisation, not having the autonomy to decide not to acquire the competence (Selwyn, 2011).

 In the case the willingness to deploy autonomy was highly influenced by perceived risks. Established academic hierarchies were both performed and questioned. The blurring of roles and boundaries and the paradigmatic changes that were project goals were by some perceived as highly risky business. Open and collaborative were seen as threatening integrity and expert knowledge. The presence of authority also influenced the project. In the project there was dispersed authority. At the same time the project was very grounded in articulated risks, and activities were clearly oriented towards seeking safety. A perceived risk was that the University should include and work with students on other platforms otherwise they would attend other Universities, companies or the internet for education. A boundary practice of relevance for reducing risk is informed consent. For LMS, or e-mail as work process, the issue of informed consent does not occur, but for participating in social media in different ways informed consent became an issue and articulated not so much among the participants in the project but among others in the organisation. Social media became distancing from business as usual, as should be in a strategic educational development of educational technologies, but the goal of the project was seen as ‘doing social media’ rather than doing development of educational technologies’. Risk aspects of social media that came up during the project were blurring boundaries and integrity, as well as misbehaviour. And at the same time social media created safe communities for students in a course connected to the project. What we see is the LMS and social media being perceived in different ways. For social media it is depending on what individuals see as safe and/or risk and what other individuals do with the material online. For some it is valuable that social commenting is made public. For some it is involved with some kind of risk. For the LMS the clear-cut boundaries can be seen as safe-making in the roles of the teacher and the student, where digital contact is one on one and the LMS is mainly for administrative purposes.

 For initiatives on educational technologies there are different situated perceived risks related to autonomy that can be of value for understanding resistance to strategic development. Technology is not so much determining development, as perceived risks and ascribed link to autonomy. The orientation of student perspective in the project emphasised learner autonomy, but became a tension of de-professionalisation regarding less autonomy in relation to technology. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014.
National Category
Pedagogy
Research subject
Media Studies and Journalism, Media and Communication Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-50520OAI: oai:DiVA.org:lnu-50520DiVA: diva2:910481
Conference
Educational Development in a changing world (ICED), 16-18 June, 2014, Stockholm
Available from: 2016-03-09 Created: 2016-03-09 Last updated: 2016-04-22Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
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More styles
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  • de-DE
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Output format
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