This from Sian Bayne’s paper…

So far these extracts from ‘What’s the matter with ‘technology enhanced learning’, sum up some of the big questions for me:

“Yet after science and technology have worked over all human limitations […] the transhumanists claim that something essentially ‘human’ will still remain: ‘reason, intelligence, self-realization, egalitarianism’.   Technology here simultaneously, and paradoxically, enables both the transcendence and the preservation of the human.”
“A critical posthumanist position on technology and education would see the human neither as dominating technology nor as being dominated by it. Rather it would see the subject of education itself as being performed through a coming together of the human and non-human, the material and the discursive. It would not see ‘enhancement’ as a feasible proposition, in that enhancement depends on maintaining a distinction between the subject/learner being enhanced and the object/technology ‘doing’ or ‘enabling’ the enhancement.”
“It is time to re-think our task as practitioners and researchers in digital education, not viewing ourselves as the brokers of ‘transformation’, or ‘harnessers’ of technological power, but rather as critical protagonists in wider debates on the new forms of education, subjectivity, society and culture worked-through by contemporary technological change.”

Sian Bayne (2015) What’s the matter with ‘technology-enhanced learning’?,
Learning, Media and Technology, 40:1, 5-20, DOI: 10.1080/17439884.2014.915851

A posthuman take on The Creation of Adam
A posthuman take on “The Creation of Adam”? The original was a fresco painting by Michelangelo.  Borrowed from


Google Trend comparison of search term “technology enhanced learning” v “e-learning” v “online learning” #mscedc

Haven’t figured out yet why my links aren’t pulling though from Twitter with IFTTT.

I’m manually adding them for now, which rather defeats the object. That and my smart watch telling me I just need to do another 26 steps makes me wonder about the whole idea of technology being subservient to humans.,e-learning,online%20learning


Edit 1st April 2017 and explanation of why I posted…

This trend analysis seems to be at odds with Bayne’s (2015) paper:
“A rapid analysis of search frequency on these terms, using Google Trends, shows a steady decline of searches on ‘learning technology’ and ‘e-learning’ since 2004, and a rise in the new terminology of ‘technology-enhanced learning’ (TEL) which is specific to the UK. ”

Looking at the analysis since 2004 there was a decline in searches for ‘Online learning’ although the trend appears to be increasing again now.  Searches for e-learning have declined but searches for ‘technology enhanced learning’ have been very low throughout that period and certainly don’t appear to have increased.

However, this doesn’t in any way detract from Bayne’s arguments as to whether education is ‘enhanced’ by technology.


Bayne, S. (2015) What’s the matter with ‘technology-enhanced learning’?, Learning, Media and Technology, 40:1, 5-20, DOI: 10.1080/17439884.2014.915851

Do genes influence our social media use?


Group of school children with tablet PC in classroom – image from iStock

“Online media use such as social networking and gaming could be strongly influenced by our genes, according to a new study by researchers from King’s College London.”

“Professor Robert Plomin, senior author from the IoPPN at King’s College London, said: ‘The key component of this gene-environment correlation is choice, such that individuals are not simply passive recipients of their environment but instead actively select their experiences and these selections are correlated with their genetic propensities.'”

As Knox, J, outlined in the pre-reading for this course “The humanist foundation of education severely limits our understanding of technology, precisely because the essence of the human subject is preserved as a bounded entity, entirely separate from the outside world of objects: technologies, environments,and other “nonhuman” things.”  This news story brings an interesting dimension to the dichotomy between whether “human agency drives technological change” (social determinism) or “digital devices define and govern how people use them” (technological determinism).  It suggests that the former is more likely and is, at least in part, due to genetic predisposition.

Given the prevalence of digital and digital social interaction in education this research could have wider implications for those of use working in this field.

Just in case you’re interested

Nigel Painting
This is me

It’s good to be back after a year away from the MSc. This is my 4th course having completed IDEL, ‘Games’ and ULOE.

I manage and develop a digital academy for a multi-national pharmacy-led retailer, focusing (forgive the pun) on the Opticians part of the business in the UK.  I’m a qualified optician but have not worked in professional practice for many years, having spent over a decade leading internal communications and moving across to learning and development about four years ago.

I seem to remember that our tutor Jeremy Knox isn’t at all fond of the type of corporate mugshots I’ve included here, so there you go Jeremy, just for you 🙂