Soft is hard and hard is easy: learning technologies and social media | Dron | Form@re – Open Journal per la formazione in rete

With Italian and English abstracts – but the paper is in English!

 

Abstract

Questo articolo riguarda principalmente la natura delle tecnologie per apprendere, con una particolare attenzione ai social media. Muovendo dalla definizione fornita da W. Brian Arthur delle tecnologie come un insieme di fenomeni orchestrati per un qualche uso, l’articolo amplia la teoria di Arthur ridefinendo e allargando la distinzione comunemente accettata tra tecnologie soft e hard, laddove le tecnologie soft sono intese come quelle che richiedono l’orchestrazione di fenomeni da parte degli esseri umani, mentre le tecnologie hard sono quelle per le quali l’orchestrazione è predeterminata o incorporata. Le tecnologie per apprendere sono quelle in cui le pedagogie (anch’esse tecnologie) sono parte dell’insieme. Le conseguenze di questa prospettiva vengono esplorate nel quadro di diversi modelli pedagogici e in relazione agli approcci basati sul social learning in una varietà di contesti, dai corsi per corrispondenza ai MOOC.

Parole chiave: tecnologie per l’apprendimento, connettivismo, social media, progettazione tecnologica, educazione.

Abstract

This paper is primarily about the nature of learning technologies, with a particular focus on social media. Drawing on W. Brian Arthur’s definition of technologies as assemblies of phenomena orchestrated to some use, the paper extends Arthur’s theory by re– specifying and extending the commonly held distinction between soft and hard technologies: soft technologies being those that require orchestration of phenomena by humans, hard technologies being those in which the orchestration is predetermined or embedded. Learning technologies are those in which pedagogies (themselves technologies) are part of the assembly. The consequences of this perspective are explored in the context of different pedagogical models and related to social learning approaches in a variety of contexts, from correspondence courses through to MOOCs.

Keywords: learning technology, connectivism, social media, technology design, education. 

Address of the bookmark: http://www.fupress.net/index.php/formare/article/view/12613

I am a professional learner, employed as a Full Professor at Athabasca University, where I research lots of things broadly in the area of learning and technology and teach mainly in the School of Computing & Information Systems, of which I am the Chair. I am married, with two grown-up children, and live in beautiful Vancouver.

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