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Examining learning in relation to the contexts of use of ICT

Tolmie, Andrew (2001) Examining learning in relation to the contexts of use of ICT. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, 17 (3). pp. 235-241. ISSN 0266-4909

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Abstract

Although ICT resources are commonly expected to produce uniform benefits, they are necessarily employed within pre-existing contexts of educational and social activity, and the outcome in terms of both pattern of use and learning depends on how they fit in with these. As a result, the same technology or software may have unexpectedly diverse effects, according to specific setting. If the object is to exercise control over outcome, then the conditions of use need to be planned for within the design and implementation of the technology. In order to do this, it is crucial that research gathers data on how outcomes are affected by the interplay between technology and context. This raises questions about the methods that would be appropriate for the conduct and dissemination of such research. These points are discussed in relation to three studies, one each at primary, secondary and university levels of education.