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ERIC Number: EJ1007076
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 21
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 62
ISSN: ISSN-1499-6677
Online Education: A Science and Technology Studies Perspective
Hamilton, Edward C.; Friesen, Norm
Canadian Journal of Learning and Technology, v39 n2 Spr 2013
This paper argues that research into the pedagogical value and potential of new technologies is limited by the implicit philosophical perspectives on technology that such research adopts. These perspectives either imbue technologies with inalienable qualities (essentialism) or posit technology as a neutral means for realizing goals defined by their users (instrumentalism). Such approaches reflect the reigning common sense around the relation of technology and social practice, but they have also been resoundingly critiqued from within the philosophy, history and sociology of technology. It is our argument that the development of more nuanced philosophical perspectives on technology derived from contemporary technology studies can provide fruitful new directions for online education research. After briefly outlining how essentialist and instrumentalist perspectives operate in such research, we overview the key contributions developed in technology studies, suggesting how the latter might enhance research into online education. (Contains 8 footnotes.)
Canadian Network for Innovation in Education. 260 Dalhousie Street Suite 204, Ottawa, ON K1N 7E4, Canada. Tel: 613-241-0018; Fax: 613-241-0019; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A