Event related reference resources:http://www.cite.hku.hk/events/doc/2009/somekh_ict.pdf
This seminar will draw on the first three chapters of my book, Pedagogy and Learning with ICT: Researching the Art of Innovation (Routledge, 2007). I will start with the proposition that research into ICT in education is, in our time, always research into innovation, and therefore needs to be grounded in theoretical knowledge about the process of innovation. Drawing on a range of theories that shed light on the nature of social practices, identity formation and human activity systems, I will suggest that we need a new way of conceptualising the process of innovation with technologies. This will include discussions of how best we might understand the notion of a technology’s affordances, and the ways in which technologies’ potential for mediating human activity is socio-culturally constructed by ‘the rules of the game,’ what Wittgenstein calls ‘learning how to go on.’ Drawing on chaos theory and complexity theory, I will suggest that change with technology is ubiquitous and largely out of the control of authorities / organisational structures. Yet, the role of educational research must be to understand how the power of technology can be ‘nudged and nurtured’ by shaping the context in which learning is situated, so that it can transform the capabilities of children and teachers. In conclusion I will suggest that to inform policy and practice in ICT in education we need a methodology which integrates research with development, because we need knowledge about how the process of change itself shapes practice. Research which attempts to measure the impact of an ICT innovatory initiative, without intervening to change the factors which enable or constrain its implementation in order to understand them, cannot inform the development of policy and practice. Moreover, such research can never be valid, because it cannot provide evidence of exactly what was being measured: such research at best provides knowledge of the impact of a partially implemented initiative, and at worst of an initiative which when implemented bears little relation to its original aims and vision.
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About the speaker(s):About the Speaker Bridget Somekh is Professor of Educational Research in the Education and Social Research Institute at Manchester Metropolitan University and a former Deputy Director of the Scottish Council for Research in Education and Dean of the School of Education and Professional Development at the University of Huddersfield. She is an Editor of the international journal, Educational Action Research, which is based at MMU, and on the editorial boards of the Journal of Technology, Pedagogy and Education (TPR, formerly JITTE), the Journal of Learning, Media and Technology, and the Journal of Teachers and Teaching: Theory and Practice. She is a former member of the Council of the British Educational Research Association, and from time to time does advisory work for Research in the EU. Both the UK Economic and Social Research Council and the UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council call on her to review research proposals. Her research interest is the process of innovation and the management of change, in particular the impact of ICT on users and their organizations, and the ways in which learning with ICT is enabled or constrained by curricular, pedagogical and organizational factors. Since 2000, she has directed a number of national evaluations studies, including the ImpaCT2 (DfES), ICT Test Beds (DfES) and Primary Schools Interactive Whiteboards (SWEEP) evaluations of the impact of the UK government’s investment in ICT for schools.