Not just about gadgets: Habit, innovation and change in the design of learning technologies

Patrick Carmichael
  • E-Learning and Digital Media, February 2015, SAGE Publications
  • DOI: 10.1177/2042753015571052

What contributes to the success or failure, the adoption or abandonment, of learning technologies?

What is it about?

The article draws on empirical work carried out during a large, funded research project during which teachers, students, technologists and researchers were able to work together for extended periods in order to explore the potential of emerging ‘semantic web’ and ‘linked data’ technologies and approaches in higher educational settings. It uses Gilles Deleuze's ideas about time to provide a framework that helps us understand why some educational technologies are adopted as they stand, some are used in unexpected ways, and others disappear without trace.

Why is it important?

Educational technologies are notoriously prone to abandonment and a great deal of time and money is wasted developing apps, web platforms and learning resources which are never used to any significant extent. This article suggests that, as well as asking about technological features or educational objectives, designers and developers need to understand learners' emerging identities and their hopes and fears for the future.


Patrick Carmichael (Author)
University of Bedfordshire

The article drew on the particular insights gained by working intensively with teacher and students over an extended period of time, rather than simply consulting them as part of a design process, or involving them in evaluation of technologies already completed.

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The following have contributed to this page: Patrick Carmichael