How to Design Educational Technology?

I am right now taking part in the Participatory Design 2008 Conference at Bloomington, Indiana, USA. Yesterday I was giving a talk about a research paper with the title “Software as Hypothesis: Research-Based Design Methodology”. The paper will be later published in the ACM International Conference series.

With the paper and the presentation I am aiming to conceptualize our way of doing research-based design. As you know my research group’s objects of design are meaningful educational technology, tools for learning and same time meaningful teaching and learning processes – widely the learning environment(s).

I think that in the design of educational technology, as important as what do you design is how do you design it. This presentation is about both: what was design and how did we do it. These two things are of course interconnected. The way of designing things has an effect on the the final objects – the tools and practices.

The stuff made is aiming to answer the design challenges recognized in the field of education. Often they are not designed for the actual context or reality but to something we consider to be the desirable future. Most of the stuff designed do not really work in a real world as it is today, but as a tools they are partly pulling the reality to the one direction which we consider to be good.

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