Friday, November 14, 2008

Philosophical Issues Related to Technology in Education: A Ground Map (Part B)

A couple of months ago, I posted part A of Technology in Education: A Ground Map. In that post, I focused on definitional issues related to "technology," and touched on some ways in which the definition of technology reflects current realities in schools and people's values about what's important in education. In this Part, I want to lay out a general outline of what I see as the major philosophical issues related to technology in education.

I see the following six major categories of philosophical issues related to technology in education:

  • Definitional (discussed in Part A)
  • Epistemological
    • what is knowledge
    • ways of representing knowledge
    • disciplines/interdisciplinary issues
    • what is important enough to be taught
    • what is deemed unimportant to schooling but is valued by students
    • tacit knowledge
  • Psychological
    • Learning theories related to technology
    • Behaviorism
    • Constructivism
    • Social constructivism
    • Gaming and education
    • Cognitive theories
    • Artificial intelligence
    • Human-computer interaction
    • Issues of attention
  • Pedagogical
    • Technology and standards
    • Integration vs. computer classes
    • "essential conditions"
    • Student-centered pedagogy
    • Substitution or transformation
    • Metacognition
    • Teacher education
  • Sociological (related to the ways that technology in education involves aspects of the larger society)
    • Effects on larger society
    • Effects on democracy
    • Relationship to nature
    • Effects on relationships
    • Social-networking
    • Effects on creativity
    • Effects on policy
    • Work, skills, training

  • Ethical
    • Proper uses of technology
    • privacy
    • filters and subcultural knowledge ("hacking")
    • Digital divide


I also see a number of important issues that cut across these various categories:

    Is educational transformation possible?

    Web 2.0 and education

    Democracy and technology


I welcome comments on this brief outline since I hope to make this a comprehensive framework for looking at this topic.