Block 2 Activity 21: The chicken and egg conundrum

Technology and pedagogy inter-relate…

This activity discussed the relationship between technology and pedagogic theory and practice drawing on my own context (primary school) and experience.

1.  What is your own experience and view?

I try hard to incorporate new technologies into my practice.  I find it hard to keep on top of the advances as they are presented due to other pressures presented through curriculum, improvement and development priorities.  Better use of technologies to connect teachers across learning communities could positively impact on pedagogical practice and development. This module has introduced me to a huge range of other tools that I could potentially develop within our primary curriculum and share further afield across our learning community.  If I worked within a different aspect of education, perhaps technology versus pedagogy would be more balanced.  Technology and pedagogy inter-relate, however pedagogy and the need to improve practice is probably the driving force for the technology relationship.

On a daily basis I use a Smartboard, laptop, digital camera, iPads and Chromebooks.  These are used to communicate, share, research, learn from, record instances and have the capacity to provide a social network for learning.  These have a major influence on learning in the classroom.  At the early stages of primary school this is not too problematic when technology lets us down as we are not reliant on it as it is used as part of a range of resources used to support learning activities.  However, at the upper stages the expectation of using a choice of technologies can motivate learning.


2.  Do you regard either pedagogy or technology as more significant than the other?

In my current establishment I would say that pedagogy has more significance than technology.  Technology is now moving at a faster pace and we are looking for ways of incorporating it into pedagogy.  The resource base of technological tools is restrictive given the age of our learners and I believe this restricts how it is used effectively.  Teacher’s capacity to use technologies will have a direct impact on the design of the teaching and learning activity. It is difficult keeping up with the advances in technologies, especially as our learners arrive at school with more knowledge, skills and experiences of using a variety of technology resources.  Bringing technologies into our pedagogy would provide a positive impact on our learners.

We have had iPads in school for around 5 years now, however we no longer have access to Wi-Fi for them to be updated and we have been restricted to free Apps due to budget constraints.  Google Chromebooks have been introduced across our local authority schools and our learners are now transferring knowledge and skills previously learned through PCs.  However, we still have restrictions on access to Apps and aspects of the Google platform and we are reliant on the Wi-Fi working.  For many teachers and learners the technology is supporting the pedagogy.  Technology can be significant if it works properly at the time it is planned to be used.

Teachers can tend to use the technologies that they feel comfortable with and the skills they have learned are often surpassed by the time they have effectively included them into their planning for teaching and learning.  Technology is more significant when used to teach specific ICT skills.

3.  How do technology and pedagogy influence each other?

It is the chicken and the egg… learners are more technologically literate and need technology incorporated within their learning experiences, however they still need to learn the basic skills from subjects like literacy and numeracy – so how do we engage our learners? Do we use a mixture of teacher led and technology led/supported activities? There is a danger here that we lose human contact and although for older learners they would have the support of their networked/social media contacts there is a chance that we will lose the ability to interact with humans in a face-to-face situation.  Over time this will change the whole environmental influence on the social world that we take our meaning from.  There is no getting away from technology influencing pedagogy.  Pedagogy can also be used as a means of developing technology to meet the needs of learners.  However, these needs change so quickly that one or the other can’t keep up.  Perhaps a ‘sociotechnical interaction network’ (Kling, McKim and King 2005) approach would be more productive.

4.  Do you have experience where either technology or pedagogy has been given more weight than the other?

On the whole within a primary school context, I would say that pedagogy is given more weight than technology.  One place within our curriculum where technology is given more weight is during teaching of technology which includes craft, design and engineering, ICT, food and textile technologies, business and computer science.

I am currently leading the learning – developing technology through a collegiate working party. For this part of our curriculum it is hard not to go with the latest technological gadget which would allow us to provide experiences to meet the learning outcomes.  We need to keep on top of developing our learners skills otherwise they will fall behind others.

Technology allows for the creation of innovative pedagogy…

We learn best when we learn with and from others… technology and pedagogy together.


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