Education Technology Development: The SCOT Approach

By Malini Bhargava and Haribabu Ejnavarzala.

Published by The International Journal of Technologies in Learning

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Research shows that in the 21st century, technology use has become an integral part of education. The questions that arise from a STS (Science, Technology, & Society Studies) perspective are, “how and in what ways do society and culture influence technology and technology design in education?,” “how and in what ways does technology shape education?,” and “Can the metaphor-‘one size fits all’ be applicable in education in the diverse social and culture milieu?” To answer these questions, the SCOT (Social Construction of Technology) approach, developed by Wiebe E. Bijker, will give a unique perspective. Thus, the paper from a theoretical lens will be looking at the applicability of the SCOT approach with a focus on the teachers as the ‘relevant social groups’ when looking at education technology development. Central to the SCOT approach is the notion of ‘relevant social groups’ who interpret technology from the vantage point of their interests and culture, which in other words, is ‘interpretive flexibility’ until the design process incorporates the interpretations, and thus achieves a closure of interpretations and effects the development and diffusion of technology in education. The paper examines how and in what ways teachers are one of the ‘relevant social groups’ within the society influence designing, developing, and implementing educational technology. The paper argues that “human actions drive technology rather than technology driving human actions” (n.d.). We will identify some of the other stakeholders in this multi modal environment termed as the ‘other’ groups, but the main focus will be on teachers’ for this paper. The ‘others’ could be peers, learners, organizations, institutions, national and international policy makers, computer scientists, designers, developers, and social scientists in shaping technology in education.

Keywords: Education, Technology, Social Groups, Science, Technology and Society, Educational Design, Development and Implementation of Educational Technology

The International Journal of Technologies in Learning, Volume 20, Issue 4, November 2014, pp.19-26. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 406.549KB).

Malini Bhargava

Research Scholar, Center for Knowledge, Culture and Innovation Studies, Department of Science, Technology and Society Studies, University of Hyderabad, Hyderabad, AP, India

Currently a Research Scholar. Been an Adjunct Faculty in USA and India. Areas of Interest are Education, E-Learning/E-Training, Leadership and Science, Technology and Society.

Prof. Haribabu Ejnavarzala

Professor, Sociology and Centre for Knoweldge, Culture and Innovation Studies, University of Hyderabad, India

Research interests: Science, Technology and Society Interface Studies I have been teaching courses in the area of science technology and society interface. Recently in collaboration with faculty members of the department of philosophy at the University of Hyderabad I designed two interdisciplinary courses on: a) Science Culture and Society; and b) Technology Culture and Society for Master level students. I have been carrying our research in the area of science technology and society interface.