Learning theory and online technologies

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<ul><li><p>This article was downloaded by: [Portland State University]On: 15 October 2014, At: 12:21Publisher: RoutledgeInforma Ltd Registered in England and Wales Registered Number: 1072954 Registeredoffice: Mortimer House, 37-41 Mortimer Street, London W1T 3JH, UK</p><p>Innovations in Education and TeachingInternationalPublication details, including instructions for authors andsubscription information:http://www.tandfonline.com/loi/riie20</p><p>Learning theory and onlinetechnologiesSue Moron-GarciaPublished online: 06 Feb 2013.</p><p>To cite this article: Sue Moron-Garcia (2013) Learning theory and online technologies, Innovationsin Education and Teaching International, 50:1, 104-105, DOI: 10.1080/14703297.2012.757034</p><p>To link to this article: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14703297.2012.757034</p><p>PLEASE SCROLL DOWN FOR ARTICLE</p><p>Taylor &amp; Francis makes every effort to ensure the accuracy of all the information (theContent) contained in the publications on our platform. However, Taylor &amp; Francis,our agents, and our licensors make no representations or warranties whatsoever as tothe accuracy, completeness, or suitability for any purpose of the Content. Any opinionsand views expressed in this publication are the opinions and views of the authors,and are not the views of or endorsed by Taylor &amp; Francis. The accuracy of the Contentshould not be relied upon and should be independently verified with primary sourcesof information. Taylor and Francis shall not be liable for any losses, actions, claims,proceedings, demands, costs, expenses, damages, and other liabilities whatsoever orhowsoever caused arising directly or indirectly in connection with, in relation to or arisingout of the use of the Content.</p><p>This article may be used for research, teaching, and private study purposes. Anysubstantial or systematic reproduction, redistribution, reselling, loan, sub-licensing,systematic supply, or distribution in any form to anyone is expressly forbidden. Terms &amp;Conditions of access and use can be found at http://www.tandfonline.com/page/terms-and-conditions</p><p>http://www.tandfonline.com/loi/riie20http://www.tandfonline.com/action/showCitFormats?doi=10.1080/14703297.2012.757034http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14703297.2012.757034http://www.tandfonline.com/page/terms-and-conditionshttp://www.tandfonline.com/page/terms-and-conditions</p></li><li><p>BOOK REVIEW</p><p>Learning theory and online technologies, by L. Harasim, Abingdon, Oxon,Routledge, 2012, 24.99 (paperback), ISBN 978-0-415-99976-2</p><p>In the final chapter of her new book, Learning Theories and Online Technologies,Linda Harasim states that It is time for an educational paradigmatic shift totransform learning from didactic instruction to the collaborative knowledge-buildingdiscourse that reflects and coheres with the twenty-first century Knowledge Age(p. 169). She reaches this conclusion following a tour through learning theories ofthe twentieth century, and the way they influenced and were influenced by thecomputer technologies available at that time: Theories exist in context and bothreflect and illuminate that context (p. 9). She argues that the use of learningtechnology in education has not really taken off yet as we need to provide moreopportunities to be active, discursive and exploratory in our learning environments,making better use of the networked technologies at our disposal.</p><p>This is a timely book that helps us make sense of the changing landscape oftechnologies and learning theories, continuing a conversation she has been havingfor well over 20 years, and extending the thinking of others (see, for example,Mason &amp; Rennie, 2004; Siemens, 2004) who identified the disruptive nature of ourever more connected world, although strangely while Masons earlier work is men-tioned, Siemens connectivism is not. In addition, she is responding to a questionothers have recently been exploring: Does e-learning require a new theory of learn-ing? (see, Andrews &amp; Haythornthwaite, 2011).</p><p>The first chapter provides an overview of the book and ensures that the readerunderstands what is meant by theory and how it is informed by epistemologicalstances (a good primer for our students?). In the second, Harasim takes us on ajourney from a brief synopsis of socio-technological shifts in human evolution(speech, writing, printing and the Internet) to a historical overview of Internet tech-nologies and online learning. In chapters three to five, she takes us through keytwentieth-century learning theories (behaviourism, cognitivism and constructivism),critiquing the approaches associated with the first two, but discussing how construc-tivist approaches have been linked to and informed thinking around the use of com-puters and networked technologies. She posits that collaboration is a keycharacteristic of human development (p. 16), but argues that teachers are beingconfronted with many and mixed-up messages and unclear demands, [so that] guidelines based on learning theory are urgent and essential (p. 87).</p><p>Chapter 6 explains what is meant by online collaborative learning (OCL) theory,including crucially the key role of the teacher as a link to the knowledge commu-nity, or state of the art in [a] discipline (p. 90) and an assertion that the OCL pro-cess includes discourse, collaborative learning and knowledge building (p. 92) thattakes learners from idea generating, to idea organising, to intellectual convergence,with the teacher facilitating the process and providing the learners with resources</p><p>Innovations in Education and Teaching International, 2013Vol. 50, No. 1, 104105</p><p>Dow</p><p>nloa</p><p>ded </p><p>by [</p><p>Port</p><p>land</p><p> Sta</p><p>te U</p><p>nive</p><p>rsity</p><p>] at</p><p> 12:</p><p>21 1</p><p>5 O</p><p>ctob</p><p>er 2</p><p>014 </p></li><li><p>and kinds of activities that will help them to build knowledge collaboratively, usingthe Internet (p. 97). It is a rallying cry for a new way of thinking about the use oflearning technology, informed by theory. While it is focused on education in theonline world, something we still appear to be reluctant to embrace in our campus-based institutions, and some criticisms in the blogosphere suggest people still craveface-to-face contact and worry about presence and a lack of intimacy/connectionwith their expert lecturers (see http://lindaharasim.com/knowledge-community-2/online-theory-technology/collaborative-learning-theory/), the definitions of onlinelearning provided (p. 879), the explanations of pedagogic practices in chapter 7and the cases on institutional innovation outlined in chapter 8 suggest that this the-ory could effectively be applied to a blended context and provides a more consid-ered response to journalistic cries (Cadwalladr, 2012)</p><p>Chapter 9, the final substantial piece, covers OCL scenarios, makes linksbetween OCL and the communities of practice (CoP) literature, discussing the dif-ferent uses of community in CoP, communities of learning and online communi-ties, and considers key indicators of success for an online CoP. Chapter 10 is acoda to the book reviewing present and imminent developments that make OCLmore achievable.</p><p>ReferencesAndrews, R., &amp; Haythornthwaite, C. (2011). E-learning theory and practice. London:</p><p>SAGE.Cadwalladr, C. (2012, November 11). Do online courses spell the end for the traditional uni-</p><p>versity? The Observer. Retrieved November 18, 2012, from http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/2012/nov/11/online-free-learning-end-of-university?CMP=twt_gu</p><p>Mason, R., &amp; Rennie, F. (2004). The Connecticon: Learning for the connected generation.Greenwich, CT: Information Age Publishing Inc.</p><p>Siemens, G. (2004). Connectivism: A learning theory for the digital age. Retrieved Novem-ber 18, 2012, from http://www.elearnspace.org/Articles/connectivism.htm</p><p>Sue Moron-Garcias.d.morongarcia@bham.ac.uk 2013, Sue Moron-Garcia</p><p>http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14703297.2012.757034</p><p>Innovations in Education and Teaching International 105</p><p>Dow</p><p>nloa</p><p>ded </p><p>by [</p><p>Port</p><p>land</p><p> Sta</p><p>te U</p><p>nive</p><p>rsity</p><p>] at</p><p> 12:</p><p>21 1</p><p>5 O</p><p>ctob</p><p>er 2</p><p>014 </p><p>http://lindaharasim.com/knowledge-community-2/online-theory-technology/collaborative-learning-theory/http://lindaharasim.com/knowledge-community-2/online-theory-technology/collaborative-learning-theory/http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/2012/nov/11/online-free-learning-end-of-university?CMP=twt_guhttp://www.guardian.co.uk/education/2012/nov/11/online-free-learning-end-of-university?CMP=twt_guhttp://www.elearnspace.org/Articles/connectivism.htm.</p></li></ul>