E-learning – Learning related to ICT and digital media

This is to be considered as work-in-progress… 

What is e-learning?

When and what are we learning with ICT and digital media?

Inspired by Jean Lave (1988, 1991), Etienne Wenger (1991, 1998), Barbara Rogoff (2003) and Annemarie Mol (2002), among other,  my answers to these questions would be that e-learning:

is learning with ICT and digital media through guided participation in and across various socio-material and cultural practices in everyday life. Learning is always a matter of learning in practice. People learn with ICT and digital media as an integrated aspect of using ICT and digital media in the everyday course of living – whether in school, at home or at work. E-learning is enacted in and enacts practices. Through these enactments, e-learning becomes both various ways to become more knowing about the world and to take part (participate) in the world.   

In other words: There are no easy answers to the questions of what, when, how, and who.

The previous was written in December 2007, and today is the 24th of January 2008. I’ll now continue a bit on my reflections on this issue of what is – or rather what makes – e-learning?

One of Latour’s main points in Reassembling the Social (Oxford University Press, 2005) is to take a radically new look on the categories and dichotomies that we tend to take for granted such as “Society/Nature”, “Humans/Non-humans” etc. After having read his book, it occured to me what I’ve managed to do in the attempt of defining e-learning in relation to everyday living (see above). In this ‘definition’, I take for granted that e-learning is a matter of people learning and also that it is a matter of using information and communication technologies (ICT). I’ll now attempt another way of talking about e-learning as an effectan emerging object multiple in the making in the ongoing course of everyday practices:

E-learning from this perspective must be viewed as associated with and not separated from practices of producing, spreading knowledge about, as well as using ICT and digital media concretely in everyday living. Viewed in this way e-learning becomes an emergent, relational as well as empirically grounded concept, that is formed through – and hence becomes an emerging effect of – everyday practices. E-learning in this sense becomes a multiple, formed by, through, in, as well as across socio-materiel and heterogeneous practices. 

From this perspective on e-learning I pursue how worldmakings enact learning in relation to ICT and digital media in everyday living.

I propose this as a different way of understanding e-learning from what ‘conventionally’ has characterized research interested in e-learning, which has usually been highly focused on learning and ICT in relation to particular ICT’s and instruction and developing instructional designs. Another approach has been to look at what is usually referred to as informal learning related to spare-time use of ICT. Yet, other approaches have been focusing on e-learning in relation to work practices. There seems to be a lack of attempts that try to establish a broader understanding of relations between learning and ICT as criss-crossing and always complexly intertwined with heterogeneous everyday practices connected to many dimensions of living (where distinctions between work, education and private life -viewed as separate spheres of life – are also to be viewed as particular worldmakings). 

When emphasizing to investigate e-learning as effect of everyday living, I try to connect learning and ICT practices to everyday practices in a broad sense including both relations with working life, private life as well as educational life and other ways life. 

Viewed from a Science, Technology and Society Studies (STS) perspective (but also many other e.g. poststructuralist perspectives), research is never just in the business of depicting. Research is always deeply involved in the business of enacting relations e.g. ICT and Media as cause of learning potential, e-learning as a matter of CSCL etc. Researchers and everyone else in the business of e-learning do not just depict but participate in enacting, designing and constructing both the objects of e-learning and e-learning practices. These enactments, designs and constructions may become imaginaries about what seems to be the ‘natural’ ways of ‘societal’ development.  

So, from his point of view, rather than making a priori assumptions about e-learning being something particular for someone somewhere, My primary concern is to investigate e-learning in the making as effect of everyday living with ICT. 

In the following I’ll collect different examples of activities involving ICT and digital media each of which may be viewed as various ways of enacting e-learning in our everyday lives:  


On November 15th 2007, Denmark’s Radio’s (DR) online site “Oline”  for kids (see: www.dr.dk/oline) won an award in the category of “Best online entertainment” at the Nordic “The Sime Awards”:

“The nominees offer a playful and creative environment for kids. The winner has successfully added stickiness – they come again and again and again – and they come in masses. The winner offers education on a very high level, to the most difficult target group, presenting a unique mix of their normal and exciting world of dolls… games, TV and radio. The winner creates a diverse world of edutainment where also adults can play with their children and share adventures for mutual learning and experiences. To bee or not to bee – Well, we love bees too….” (Source: http://www.sime.nu/module.asp?XModuleId=17081)

To read the press release in Danish from DR see: http://www.dr.dk/presse/Article.asp?articleID=25692

17 learning techniques for lectures

A blogpost by Ib Ravn, researcher from Learning Lab Denmark (see: http://ibravn.blogspot.com/2006_04_01_archive.html )

What is interesting about Ib Ravn’s blogpost is that teacher’s (see comments) from various educational contexts are using Ib Ravns blogpost about learning techniques as a source of inspiration for developing their own teaching activities.  

E-learning in the making

So many interesting details to notice about these dialogues in the making about “Non-human actors on Luhmann and Latour”: http://unionstreet.wordpress.com/2007/08/27/non-human-actors-on-luhmann-and-latour/, “”Blog Stat(u)s”: http://malenel.wordpress.com/2007/12/31/my-phd-blog-stats/#comments, and “Social Network Site Categories”: http://malenel.wordpress.com/2008/01/08/brainstorm-social-network-site-categories/#comments

Look around this blog for other examples…

On-Line writings – Copyright

The online writings on this website may be cited or briefly quoted in line with the usual academic conventions. You may also copy or download them for your own personal use. However, the writings must not be published elsewhere (e.g. to mailing lists, bulletin boards etc.) without the author’s explicit permission.

Please note that if you copy my writings you must:

• include this copyright note

• you should observe the conventions of academic citation in a version of the following form:

e.g. Hansbøl, Mikala: “E-learning – Learning with ICT and Digital Media”, published at Mikala’s Klumme – A researcher’s blog: https://mikalasklumme.wordpress.com/e-learning-learning-with-ict-and-digital-media/. Version 24th January 2008. 

One comment

  1. […] Mikalas Klumme A researcher’s blog « Reassembling the social What is e-learning? January 10, 2008 I’ve just further developed my thoughts on e-learning at this page: https://mikalasklumme.wordpress.com/e-learning-learning-with-ict-and-digital-media/. […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: