Learning with 'e's

Educational theory and practice in the digital age

By: Steve Wheeler


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Ebook


Size: 154mm x 228mm

Pages : 232

ISBN : 9781845909390

Format: Paperback

Published: February 2015


In an age where young people seem to have a natural affinity with smartphones, computer games and social media, teachers and lecturers face a big challenge - or a golden opportunity. How can new technology promote learning, engage students and motivate them to sustain a lifelong career in learning?

For educators everywhere, our challenge is to take devices that have the potential for great distraction and boldly appropriate them as tools that can inspire and engage. On the back of Steve's hugely popular blog, also named 'Learning with e's-, he shows how the world of learning is changing, and how new technology - and you and I - can make a difference.

The proliferation of digital technologies and cultures is having a profound impact on learning, prompting questions which need answers. How will technology change our conceptions of learning? How will new ways of learning impact upon our uses of technology? How will teachers' and lecturers' roles change; what will they need to know; and what will we see learners doing in the future? Grounded in his research and in pedagogical theory, Steve explores the practical ways in which technology is influencing how we learn, and looks toward emerging trends to examine what the future of learning may look like.

Subjects covered include:

  • Learning with technology
  • Theories for the digital age
  • Digital literacies
  • Pedagogical theories and practices
  • New and emerging technologies
  • New learning architectures
  • Changing education
  • Global educators
  • A 21st century curriculum.

For teachers, lecturers, learning and development professionals and anybody who wants to be inspired by the new ways learning is being revolutionised through the use of new and emerging technologies.


Picture for author Steve Wheeler

Steve Wheeler

Steve Wheeler is a Learning Innovations Consultant and former Associate Professor of Learning Technologies at the Plymouth Institute of Education where he chaired the Learning Futures group and led the Computing and science education teams. He continues to research into technology supported learning and distance education, with particular emphasis on the pedagogy underlying the use of social media and Web 2.0 technologies, and also has research interests in mobile learning and cybercultures. He has given keynotes to audiences in more than 35 countries and is author of more than 150 scholarly articles, with over 6000 academic citations. An active and prolific edublogger, his blog Learning with e's is a regular online commentary on the social and cultural impact of disruptive technologies, and the application of digital media in education, learning and development. In the last few years it has attracted in excess of seven million unique visitors.


Reviews

  1. 1. What is your overall impression of the book?

    Learning with -˜e's tries to decode research and theory to establish the future of learning in the digital sphere. I chose to read the book after hearing Steve give a keynote speech last year. His knowledge, sense of humour and desire to make a difference were compelling and Learning with -˜e's certainly lived up to my expectations.

    Steve has a breadth of experience across education, most recently as a consultant and formerly as an Associate Professor of Learning Technologies at the Plymouth Institute of Education, where he chaired the Learning Futures group and led the computing and science education teams. He draws on this to discuss how -“ and why -“ we should embed digital pathways for learning in modern curriculums. He covers many topics, such as curriculum design, appropriating technology, and engaging and engendering lifelong learners.

    The book weaves delicately, yet precisely, through the changing landscape of technology as a driver for learning. Steve isn't shy to make two points: 1. that the learner should be at the centre of decisions; 2. that our attitude to using technology in education must move at a speed akin to that of the modern world's desire to be connected. Quite simply, education must follow technology, but how quickly depends on us.

    He weighs up his arguments by drawing on research and theory. He uses this to question and explore the validity of conceptual approaches we might have, such as the formats in which we traditionally accept assignments from students. For example, is a traditional essay any more valid than a blog, bespoke website or video?

    Steve also unapologetically takes on those who would defend the current status where technology has no real beneficial place within education, rather than seeing its near endless possibilities, impact and transformational power. The issues he discusses range from theories of learning in the old and new curricula, learning whilst on the move, digital literacy and the changing face of digital identity as technology and society evolve. He really opened my eyes to where technology in learning could go.

    2. Who do you think would benefit most from reading the book? What will they learn?

    Teachers who are sceptical about using technology in education will benefit first and foremost from reading Learning with -˜e's. One of my favourite questions from the book is, -˜How can we reach a place in education where students find their own level and make their own pathways through learning?'

    I would also urge anyone who has an interest in technology in education -“ or is a digital lead in a school, college, university or MAT -“ to read the book. In fact, almost any educator could benefit from reading some or all of Learning with -˜e's as it challenges us to think of what is fundamentally most important in education: the learner and their experience.

    3. What did you think about the quality of the writing? Please consider the tone, structure and ideas. Does it suit the audience?

    Steve writes in a manner that's akin to a friendly tour guide taking you through what can be a bewildering space. His writing is well structured and signposts many research findings, which allows you to make up your own mind as you travel along the highway of information. Steve also digests the theory and research and gives you a practical appreciation of them when he discusses his own ideas and how they could be implemented.

    4. Please discuss the research used to underpin the ideas. What evidence does the author use? Is it robust and up-to-date?

    Steve makes great use of a varying and wide-reaching range of research, referenced throughout, to underpin his ideas. While the book is now a couple of years old, the research findings are still relevant and his questioning more than stands up to test.

    The bibliography is extensive. It covers a huge range of sources, including: pedagogy in and with technology; the language of learning; psychology; human and social contexts; distance learning; digital identities; curriculum and environment design; experiential and organisational learning; computer-assisted learning; and the process of connecting and motivating learners.

    5. What did you learn from reading the book? What ideas/approaches/practice will you change or adopt as a result of reading this book?

    One of the main themes I took from the book was the concept of praxis, which is the overlap between theory and practice. -˜Draw two intersecting circles, label them -œwhat I can do- and -œhow I know-, and praxis sits right there in the middle, the overlap between the two.- Steve reminds us that we should stop seeing the two elements as separate entities and start combining them so that we can create the optimum environment for our learners.

    He also suggests that negotiated success criteria (between learner and teacher), which is tailored to the pupil's individual needs, may be more time consuming, but is worth the effort if it improves learning. This made me think of a radical idea -“ students setting their own success criteria for assessments. This particularly resonated with me as learners are producers -“ they put their own mark on the content they create, evaluate others and their identity is maintained with the content they have created either in school or on social media.

    Too often we prescribe in teaching rather than creating a safe space for co-construction, collaboration and learning in action. I will certainly spend more time developing success criteria, thinking about how my students can put the equivalent effort into creating a digital piece of work as they would with an analogue version and ipsative (personal) assessment.

    I've also changed my approach to accepting a wider range of student-generated work. One size does not fit all and I would rather my students were more creative, for example rather than a written explanation I would happily receive a short video or imagery made using tools like Adobe Spark Video, Quik or Canva. When given more choice, students showcase their learning in more creative ways than we are typically accustomed to.

    6. Could you share a quote from the book that particularly resonated with you?



    -˜Schools, colleges and universities that support the ethos of student-generated content will find themselves tapping directly into the rich mother lode of creativity and innovation this generation of learners offers.'

    Click here to read the review on the Chartered College of Teaching website.
  2. This is a book to make you think. Based on Steve Wheeler's blog of the same name, it includes topics like -œmeasuring learning in the digital age-, a curriculum for the 21st century and digital identities. Although Wheeler is an academic, he is that rare bird, someone who writes in a way that is both engaging and understandable. This book will provide not only enjoyment in itself, but a wealth of topics to discuss with your students.

    http://www.ictineducation.org/home-page/2016/3/3/7-books-for-computing-teachers
  3. Steve's book is basically the Lonely Planet to the future of learning. You can travel without it, but your travels will be so much easier if you have it on you. The two chapters placing learning theories in today's technology-filled world are invaluable.
  4. In the main, industry has embraced new and innovative ways of working with technologies, but lagging painfully behind are certain educational theories and practices that fail to move with the times. This may be good. This may be necessary, in their worlds. But the future worlds which current students will be working in are probably unrecognisable as innovations continue. In fact -“ just look around -“ young people have already embraced the social benefits of modern technologies. Many see these as a distraction but, if used smartly, educators have the opportunity to boldly appropriate these as powerful tools that can inspire and engage.

    This is the crux of Steve Wheeler's -œLearning with -˜e's- book which deftly examines educational theory and practice in the digital age. The issue that education is currently faced with, claims the book, is the struggle between the old and the new, the closed and the open, the traditional and the radical. Steve explores some of the main issues throughout the book as he explores the changing nature of education; theories for the digital age; old theories, new contexts; rebooting learning; a 21st century curriculum -“ all challenging the traditional roles in education, and how adaptation can continue to support learning in the modern world.



    The moulds will need breaking. There is a lot of change required, and technology advances cannot be ignored -“ despite the best efforts of many colleagues who find such change overwhelming, but Steve Wheeler dissects the issues which education is facing, with encouragement and words of wisdom that can help all of us look at the future opportunities with excitement and with a sense of awe.
  5. Learning with e's' is a simple, but not simplistic, reader for both Under Graduate and Post Graduate students and it is written in a style and manner which would be attractive to them. I will be using the book on both my technology related courses and will recommend it on the reading list for both modules. The book will be of benefit to both students and teaching staff new to the topic or for those beginning to show an interest in Technology Enhanced Learning. I enjoyed reading it and would recommend it for others.
  6. Steve has created an important book for our time. He weaves together his interpretations of how technology can be used to transform learning - this is not just for the learner but the educator too -“ with manageable sized introductions to theory and practice. The book is, I feel, very well placed for today's digital market with demands on content and ease of access. These bite-size chunks are a launch-pad for you to follow-up to find the depth and the detail of the research. The book would be of benefit to students studying digital literacy and technology enhanced learning as part of their Initial Teacher Education.
  7. Steve has managed to write a book which bridges education interest in the digital age with real life practices. He has accessed his personal learning community which has been built over a number of years, to share their perspectives and most importantly his and their experiences. The book reads like a good conversation between friends and the references to people like David Hopkins, Pat Parslow, Helen Keegan and Steven Heppell make the book seem as though you are enjoying one of those great conference coffee break conversations. Accessibility in academic reading can often prevent students doing more than a quick dip and retrieving a quotation that fits, in this instance I am convinced they will be unable to put the book down!
  8. I've have to admit, I'm a bit of a fan-boy when it comes to Steve Wheeler. I've been an avid reader of his blog for a long while and can't believe we haven't had an opportunity to meet over the years.So it was with eager anticipation that I awaited his book, -˜Learning with E's, educational theory and practice in the digital age-˜. I haven't been disappointed. To say that it is brilliant would be an understatement. It is the book I wish I was well-read enough to write. Steve's ability to tie together the classic and the modern and make it relevant and, quite frankly, right, is superb. I don't say this lightly when I say, if you're looking for a book on modern practice using technology then this book is it. I think this is a book not only for existing teachers but should probably be required reading on PGCE and other ITT courses. It's about time that more of our profession started taking learning with technology seriously. This book lays it out clearly, plainly and with aplomb. Not only is a lot of what he talks about backed up with evidence, but it is totally compelling. He's not advocating any one type of -˜e-learning' or device, but just tells it how it is. I liked it so much I have both a paperback copy and have it on my phone in the Kindle app too. Well done, thank you and somewhat #welljel on such a fab book. Doffs cap.
  9. I've been looking for a book like this for a while, so thank Steve for finally getting around to writing it! Learning in our digital age is a complex and complicated business - it's great to finally have a succinct yet personable overview.

    Steve is able to come at the subject from a robust theoretical perspective, without losing sight of the horizon. A delicious feat of theoretical groundwork. Highly recommended to anyone trying to get their heads around learning in these interesting times.
  10. This book explores how the world of learning is changing in the face of new technologies and suggests ways to utilise devices that could otherwise cause distraction, appropriating them as tools for inspiring and engaging pupils.
  11. There are some aspects of Wheeler's argument that many people will take for granted but with which you may disagree; such as the insistence that this generation of students and teachers is facing fundamentally different challenges from those that arose in the past. However, it's a far from controversial work on the whole, providing both practical advice and a fresh way of looking at things. For example, how do you set about measuring progress if you decide to eschew the usual written assignments and accept instead video and audio recordings? Wheeler provides a framework for thinking about this problem and more; why do some people share more than they perhaps should on social networks like Facebook? And what insights might be provided by academics who died long before Mark Zuckerberg had even been born? This is a challenging but accessible title, which deservees a place on every thinking teacher's bookshelf.
  12. The book educators have been waiting for!

    A long awaited book and one I could not wait to start reading. I am not disappointed! This will be a book I return to time after time. Steve has skillfully taken renowned learning theories and placed them in context within authentic examples of learning in the digital age. His approach to explaining new ways of learning is clear and demonstrated throughout with useful visual models and wonderful exemplars educational practice from educators across the world. I thoroughly recommend you buying this book and keeping it close by. This is one you will be revisiting regularly.
  13. Steve is one of a rare breed who can make educational theory accessible and relevant to all. His passion and unstoppable drive to help people like me make sense of the impact of technology on teaching, learning, social engagement and culture makes -˜Educational theory and practice in the digital age' an essential addition to our digital bookshelf.
  14. In -œLearning with e's-, Steve discusses issues such as the 21st Century curriculum, assessment, mobile learning, personal learning and other concerns. His suggestions are challenging, and the book draws on a great deal of academic research. However, this is done in an accessible, even a conversational, way. For those who are already familiar with Steve's blog, this will be a welcome collection of his ideas. And for those who are not, it will be a welcome addition to their library.
  15. Steve's book is basically the Lonely Planet to the future of learning. You can travel without it, but your travels will be so much easier if you have it on you. The two chapters placing learning theories in today's technology-filled world are invaluable.
  16. In Learning with e's, Steve discusses issues such as the 21st Century curriculum, assessment, mobile learning, personal learning and other concerns. His suggestions are challenging, and the book draws on a great deal of academic research. However, this is done in an accessible, even a conversational, way. For those who are already familiar with Steve's blog, this will be a welcome collection of his ideas. And for those who are not, it will be a welcome addition to their library.
  17. Steve is one of a rare breed who can make educational theory accessible and relevant to all. His passion and unstoppable drive to help people like me make sense of the impact of technology on teaching, learning, social engagement and culture makes -˜Educational theory and practice in the digital age' an essential addition to our digital bookshelf.

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