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Unit information: Teaching and Learning with Technology in 2021/22

Please note: It is possible that the information shown for future academic years may change due to developments in the relevant academic field. Optional unit availability varies depending on both staffing, student choice and timetabling constraints.

Unit name Teaching and Learning with Technology
Unit code EDUCM0043
Credit points 20
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 1 (weeks 1 - 12)
Unit director Dr. Oldfield
Open unit status Not open




School/department School of Education
Faculty Faculty of Social Sciences and Law


This unit will critically examine how technologies are used in different teaching and learning contexts, with emphases on linking theory and practice and reflecting on students’ own experiences and digital practices. Discussion will focus on developing an understanding of the core concepts of technology, teaching and learning; critically appraising the use of technology in formal and informal learning contexts; examining how technologies can support different conceptualizations of learning; and considering the multiple factors that influence the use and impact that technology has in learning contexts.

The aims of this unit are:

  • to introduce participants to key technologies developed for or being applied to teaching and learning
  • to introduce participants to theories in the cognitive sciences and education of relevance to the use of technology in educational settings
  • to introduce participants to the academic research of technology in formal and informal learning contexts
  • to relate practical uses of technology in educational settings to appropriate theories of teaching and learning.

Intended learning outcomes

On completion of this unit, students will be able to demonstrate that they can:

1. Conduct a review of relevant research literature, taking a critical approach to analysing different technologies used in education and show an understanding of the underlying learning processes;

2. Critically reflect on their own experience of learning and teaching with technology and how they might evaluate and improve practice in the future;

3. Make links between theory and the use of technology in learning settings.

Teaching details

This unit will be taught using a blended approach consisting of a mixture of synchronous and asynchronous activities including seminars, lectures, critical analysis of key readings, discussions and group work.

Assessment Details

Summative assessment for this unit consists of two parts:

Part 1 (25%): Reflective essay (1,000 words) - For this essay, students will conduct a critical analysis of their own previous experiences of using technology for teaching and/or learning in relation to different learning theories. The essay may draw on students' experiences using technology as a teacher or learner in an informal or formal context. Importantly, the essay should make substantive links between this experience and relevant or appropriate learning theories. Thus, students' critical reflections of their own personal or professional experiences should be well supported by relevant academic literature and theoretical frameworks. (ILO 2, 3)

This essay will be submitted halfway through the unit, which will also provide students with additional formative feedback for the final submission.

Part 2 (75%): Academic essay (3,000 words) - This part of the assessment asks students to critically examine how technology can be used for learning or teaching. To do this, students should choose a particular type of technology and examine how it can be and is used in a particular learning context. The technology could be - but does not have to be - one that has been examined in lectures. As with Part 1, the learning context could be either a formal, educational one or a more informal learning environment.

The aim of this part of the assessment is to take a critical in-depth look at how technologies relate to learning in a particular context. The essay should be supported by concepts drawn from relevant and up-to-date literature around the chosen topic, and by a theoretical framework that systematically relates teaching and learning with technology. (ILO 1)

This essay will be submitted at the end of the unit.

Formative assessment

To support this summative assessment, formative feedback will be provided through classroom discussion and activities, peer group work and individual feedback as appropriate and possible.

Reading and References

  • Alper, M. 2015. Digital Youth with Disabilities. MIT Press: Cambridge.
  • Beckman, K, Bennett, S & Lockyer, L, 2014. Understanding students’ use and value of technology for learning. Learning, Media and Technology, 39(3), pp.346–367.
  • Carrington, V. and Marsh, J. 2005. Digital childhood and youth: New texts, new literacies. Discourse: Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education. 26 (3), pp. 279-285.
  • Ileris, K. 2018. Contemporary Theories of Learning. Routledge.
  • Koehler MJ, Mishra P, Cain W. 2013. What is Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge (TPACK)? Journal of Education.193(3):13-19. doi:10.1177/002205741319300303
  • Liu, Y. 2020. The Future of the Classroom: China’s experience of AI in education, NESTA report,
  • Livingstone, S. 2011. Critical reflections on the benefits of ICT in education. Oxford Review of Education. 38 (1), pp. 9-24.
  • Papert, S. 1980. Mindstorms: children, computers and powerful ideas. Harvester.
  • Pea, R.D, 1993. Practices of distributed intelligence and designs for education. In Distributed Cognitions, Psychological and Educational considerations,. Cambridge: CUP.
  • Selwyn. N. 2013. Education in a digital world: global perspectives on technology and education. Routledge.
  • Selwyn, N, 2011. Education and Technology: Key Issues and Debates, London: Continuum.
  • Triggs, P & Sutherland, R, 2008. A holistic approach to understanding teaching and learning with ICT. In R. Sutherland, S. Robertson, & John, P, eds. Improving Classroom Learning with ICT. Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge, pp. 49–69.
  • Williamson, B., Eynon, R., and Potter, J. 2020. Pandemic politics, pedagogies and practices: digital technologies and distance education during the coronavirus emergency, Learning, Media and Technology, 45 (2), pp. 107-114.