Theories for learning with emerging technologies

Posted on June 23rd, 2016

Terry Anderson, professor emeritus and former Canada Research Chair in Distance Education at Athabasca University, reviews the theoretical underpinnings of the use of emerging technologies in teaching and learning. Anderson examines historical theories of educational technology, including social constructivism, complexity theory, and connectivism. He advocates for the use of theory, stating, “much of our understanding of how and why learning happens and the best ways to design effective learning activities is enhanced when we work from theoretical models.” While theories can add value, Anderson also cautions that they need to “evolve to account for networked affordances, digital disruptions, and unanticipated consequences.”