Technologies, learning and culture: Some emerging themes

Lally, Vic, Sclater, Madeleine and Brown, Ken (2018) Technologies, learning and culture: Some emerging themes. Research in Comparative and International Education, 13 (1). pp. 227-235. ISSN 1745-4999


This paper reflects on some of the themes emerging from a consideration of recent research at the nexus of technologies, learning and culture. The authors comment on the expansive nature of the concept of learning spaces in papers featuring an investigation of technology enhanced learning (TEL) and communication design studios in the UK and Australia, the use of interdisciplinary research collaborations to develop novel implementations of TEL learning spaces, and the challenges of developing an e-university in Malawi. They also examine a comparative study focused on classroom-based learning spaces augmented by computer-based assessment technologies, and the role of TEL both within and in response to protests at universities in South Africa. Massive open online courses are then considered as distinctive educational designs that may offer diverse student experiences, either formal or informal. The next emerging theme considers the sources of tension and richness arising from the widely divergent values that can be embedded in TEL. This is followed by consideration of infrastructural issues and the technologies–learning–culture nexus, followed by the use of theory in TEL work, leading to interdisciplinary theory-informed TEL projects that may be beneficial in the wider project of reimagining higher education for work and study. Finally, the paper examines the theme of mobile TEL and the hegemonic issues surrounding the building of sustainable and authentic foundations for learning with mobiles in the globalised South. The theme points to the methodologically challenging and problematic aspects of this hegemonic analysis and considers how the arguments may be further developed.

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