Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Technology and Change

Seminar - Technology and Change: Conceptualising The Struggles Of 'New Professionals'
Dr Alison Hudson, University of Dundee

Talking about research on the impact on "new" technology on policy, practice and professionalism. Technological innovation is not new and it does have an impact on policy and practice. Dr Hudson is particularly interested in professional autobiography as a method for researching development. Among other things the session will consider characteristics that govern our work as educators.

Lengthy consideration of what is meant by "profession" and "professionalism". Bourdieu talks about the contribution of the individual to the field of education, their own disposition (habitus) and capital (what we do, what we know and how it is valued).

We were asked to consider why we chose to become educators. What we our motivations? Inspired by own experiences? Desired to share experience/knowledge?

It was suggested that initially, technology was used by enthusiasts but that there was a shift and technology was used to control, for example using bit to measure and record performance (e.g. How many people are using the VLE). See the book: "Technology And Change".


JanieT said...

I disagreed with her! The idea of technology as control smacked of assessment and monitoring. My idea of technology and control would be to relate control to classroom practice, i.e. who chooses the text, the technology, the resources in a classroom where pupils are socialised into a world of technology whilst teachers may be digital immigrants? Bourdieu also argues that the use of technology to influence literacy development is linked to power 'relationships' and not a tool to monitor. At least that's how I read him!

David said...

I got an email from Blogger saying Alison herself had posted a reply here but it seems to have gone. I wonder if Alison herself removed it? I'll drop her an email and see what happened. It wouldn't be right to post her reply without her permission but I think I can pass on more detail about the Technology and change book: "Technology and Change" by Donald Schön (1967).

Alison said...

It’s quite strange to see someone ‘disagreeing’ with me so strongly via an interpretation of my response to a question at a conference.

My comment was about a shift in the positioning and control of digital technologies in higher education towards the end of the 1990s when VLEs became big business and universities were cast as ‘the powerhouses of the new global economy’(Blunkett, 2000).

Regarding the source of my comments - I have spent the last twenty years supporting the use of new technologies in teaching and learning – thus my research interest in the area of Education, Technology and Change. In particular my research explored the roles and integrated practices of educational developers and educational technologists (as new professionals) working in a changing Higher Education sector (but has wider applicability).

New Professionals and New Technologies in New Higher Education? Conceptualising struggles in the field.

I completed my thesis whilst I was working in a Swedish University – hence the link to the
website of Umea University.

Happy for you to disagree, challenge or discuss my research first hand.

Also the book that I mentioned regarding Technology and Change is by Donald Schön (1967) – a fascinating read. In the 1960s Schön was working for the US government to help industrial firms to engage more effectively in technological innovation and change.

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