Recent Developments in Technology-Enhanced Learning: A Critical Assessment

Karl Steffens, Brenda Bannan, Barney Dalgarno, Antonio R. Bartolomé, Vanessa Esteve-González, José María Cela-Ranilla


Our societies are considered knowledge societies in which lifelong learning is becoming increasingly important. At the same time, digital technologies are entering almost every aspect of our lives and now play an important role in education. The last decade has seen numerous new developments in the field of technology-enhanced learning. In 2004, George Siemens presented connectivism as a learning theory for the digital age. His ideas inspired the creation of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), which have recently received a great deal of attention. Theoretical works on the use of digital devices for learning have focused on the affordances users perceive in these devices. Design research has also shown us that learning environments enriched by digital technologies are extremely complex and should be viewed as learning ecologies. The discussions on connectivism and MOOCs, affordances of digital devices, and design research have taken place in different discourses that have paid hardly any attention to each other. It is important to point out, however, that the developments in technology-enhanced learning not only can but need to be related to each other.


affordances; connectivism; design research; digital technologies; MOOCs; technology-enhanced learning

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