Skip to main content Skip to navigation

096 - Computing technology for learning - in need of a radical new conception


Many have had high expectations for the impact of computer-based technology on educational practice. By and large, these expectations have not been realised. It has become evident that innovative technology alone does not necessarily guarantee progress - nor perhaps even significant change - in educational practice. This has led educational researchers to place greater emphasis on cultural issues that could account for the unexpectedly limited influence of technology-enhanced learning. Candidate issues relate to: the political context surrounding education; technical and social obstacles to technology adoption by teachers; a failure to identify appropriate models of learning and teaching. This paper attributes the primary problems faced in applying technology in education to a quite different source: to the accepted conception of computing itself. This perception of the relationship between technology and learning is elaborated in the first section of the paper. It is complemented by a review of an alternative conception of computing, rooted in a methodology for modelling with dependency directed at the development of construals rather than programs, that is far better aligned to the demands of developing environments for learning. The paper concludes with a brief discussion of the potential implications of this approach.


Full text available from: