8th Blog Post: What does it mean to be critical about the use of technology in learning and teaching?


According to Selwyn (2015) being critical about the use of technology in the learning and teaching space means identifying new concepts and practices, and understanding their effects on students and staff. These effects include an analysis of the costs and gains and also whether they actually fix the problems they were supposed to. He also suggests that being critical requires the belief that practices can always be improved upon especially if one applies critical reflection on those practices. However, I would moderate Selwyn’s (2015) opinions by stating Jones (2015) position: that better pedagogies can only occur if we don’t abandon old models and practices willy nilly, but instead by understanding them “in detail”, so that we can fine tune it by getting rid of what works and developing what does so that teachers can apply variations of it, for all students to benefit from.

To do this we need to monitor students’ use of technology, their actions in general as both reflect their emotions. According to Brennan (n.d.) and his analysis of MOOCs, connectivist theory does not lend itself to scaffolding as it assumes we’re already “digitally literate nodes”. He says that peer support will alleviate issues for example with technology, however, there needs to be instructor input to avoid the student failing all together. This issue with online learning has also been noted in general for example Croxton (2014) and McInnerney and Roberts (2004). Also NGL doesn’t allow for many experiences with mastery due to its reliance on connectivist theories Brennan (n.d.). This course has tried to do negate this through expectations set by the rubric, however, I think it may have fallen a bit with getting us to explore a learning task by ourselves. Had it created a different set task for all of us to engage in, it may have resulted in increased participation and communication which would have resulted in more meaningful and student centred learning (Curtin University of Technology, 2017; McLoughlin & Lee, 2008).



Brennan, K. (n.d.). In connectivism, no one can hear you scream: A guide to understanding the MOOC novice.  Retrieved September 7, 2017 from http://www.digitalpedagogylab.com/hybridped/in-connectivism-no-one-can-hear-you-scream-a-guide-to-understanding-the-mooc-novice/

Croxton, R. A. (2014). The role of interactivity in student satisfaction and persistence in online learning. Journal of Online Learning and Teaching, 10(2), 314. Retrieved from  https://usq.summon.serialssolutions.com/#!/search?bookMark=ePnHCXMw42JgAfZbU5lAx5SaAvOSqZEFB7RkBG3CNONkCAEGgEJQfk6qQn6aAnjcC7SEH3RTgkJmnkIw5EhHhWCkxf0KwE61AmhFOMjnwLAAqYOcxKkAPYU0nZtB2c01xNlDF1agxkPjojge2KYxMbMA1u2gyWViVAEAnnU9Tg.

Curtin University of Technology. (2017). Student centred learning.  Retrieved September 5, 2017 from https://clt.curtin.edu.au/teaching_learning_practice/student_centred/student_centred.cfm

Jones, D. (2015). All models are wrong, but some are useful and its application to e-learning.  Retrieved September 7, 2017 from http://djon.es/blog/2015/08/28/all-models-are-wrong-but-some-are-useful-and-its-application-to-e-learning/

McInnerney, J. M., & Roberts, T. S. (2004). Online learning: Social interaction and the creation of a sense of community. Journal of Educational Technology & Society, 7(3), 73-81. Retrieved from  http://www.ifets.info/journals/7_3/8.pdf.

McLoughlin, C., & Lee, M. J. W. (2008). The three p’s of pedagogy for the networked society: Personalization, participation, and productivity. International Journal of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, 20(1), 10-27. Retrieved from  https://netgl.wordpress.com/.

Selwyn, N. (2015). Technology and education – why it’s crucial to be critical. In S. Bulfin, N. Johnson, & C. Bigum (Eds.). ritical  perspectives on technology and education New York:  Palgrave Macmillan.


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