Beyond Acceptance: A New Model for Technology Engagement in 21st Century Learning

Beyond Acceptance: A New Model for Technology Engagement in 21st Century Learning

Ibrahim Hakki Bulut (Istanbul Medeniyet University, Turkey), Ömer Delialioğlu (Middle East Technical University, Turkey) and H. Chad Lane (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA)
Copyright: © 2020 |Pages: 22
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-9304-1.ch016


Technology acceptance model (TAM) has been the predominant model for decades to explain how and to what extent motivational factors affect technology use of people. Despite its robustness and validity for the research in educational technologies, TAM has a behaviorist nature, focusing mainly on extrinsic motivators to explain the acceptance of technology. Considering that learning requires cognitive and social immersion as well as behavioral engagement, behaviorist-oriented approach of TAM can only make limited explanation of acceptance of learning technologies. To overcome this shortcoming of TAM, a new model is proposed, the educational technology engagement model (ETEM), based upon the self-determination theory, which basically offers that both extrinsic and intrinsic motivational factors affect engagement of students for learning. ETEM identifies cognitive, social, and behavioral engagement along with the perceived achievement as motivational outcomes.
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“Each person is a switchboard, between ties and networks”

(Wellman et al., 2002)

Wellman’s quotation above expresses a famous metaphor on how technological advances have reached a point where we (humans) are merged into a larger system with other media and tools. Not only is technology part of our social lives, we are now a part of the digital world defined by technology. Our relationship with technology is no longer one-dimensional where we exploit its resources and affordances, rather it is reciprocal where both sides benefit from each other. Our motivation to use technology is not confined to an application level as it has historically been, rather we are embedded into digital technologies socially and cognitively.

The use of several forms of technologies by the 21st century millennial generation in daily lives including Internet, computers, tablets, smartphones, video/online games etc. is so widespread that 4 billion people in the world use the Internet, 5 billion people possess a mobile phone of which more than half have smart capabilities allowing internet experience at anywhere-anytime, and more than 3 billion people have access to social media almost all through mobile devices (%90). Moreover, average internet user spends almost 6 hours per day online and smartphones are the most preferred option to access to internet (%52) (Kemp, 2018).

The paradigm shift and changing dynamics underlying the motivation to adopt and use of technologies accompanied the worldwide growth of the Internet and transition from Web 1.0 technologies to Web 2.0. Web 1.0 refers to the early web-based content publication environment of the Internet where the role of users is limited with access to broadcasted information (Cormode & Krishnamurthy, 2008). Personal web sites with static pages, designed for low bandwidth and slow performance connection of the Internet identify Web 1.0. Web 1.0 technologies include utilitarian tools, media and systems that facilitate people’s daily and professional lives whereas they were comparatively limited in terms of user participation and co-creation. With the change to Web 2.0 technologies in the late 90s, the dynamics of the Internet changed dramatically. In particular, users became more active participants and creators of the content – Web 2.0 tools made this easier and more accessible to them. The dynamic capabilities of the Web 2.0 also enabled the formation of new online communities, further blurring the lines between the real and digital worlds. People could now more easily share their interests, thoughts and feelings through virtual communities. Web 2.0 does not only enable people to benefit from technologies, systems and tools at an instrumental level, but it also enables them to engage with them and get involved at social, cognitive and hedonic levels.

Web 2.0 provides various tools for social participation, cognitive involvement and hedonic immersion of users including (Bower, 2015):

  • Text tools and forums for online discussion and chat

  • Note-taking tools to create collective and collaborative documents

  • Diagramming and mind mapping tools to visualize knowledge and map information

  • Presentation tools to present content

  • Digital storytelling tools to create comics, cartoon storybooks and animated videos

  • Wikis to collectively create and edit content

  • Blogs to create online journals or informative websites

  • Data analysis tools to conduct surveys and, collect and analyze data

  • Social networking sites to create public profiles and connect and interact with other people

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