Context and Teaching With Technology in the Digital Age

Context and Teaching With Technology in the Digital Age

Joshua M. Rosenberg (Michigan State University, USA) and Matthew J. Koehler (Michigan State University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-5631-2.ch074
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Context is an essential aspect of educational research. In this chapter, the authors discuss how context has been avoided or has referred to different constructs among educational technology research, especially among research on the Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge (TPACK) framework. The authors discuss the descriptive, inferential, and practical implications of the framework for the context of teachers' TPACK advanced by Porras-Hernández and Salinas-Amescua (2013). Then, they exemplify the power of this framework by using it to guide a descriptive study conducted to determine the extent to which the publications included context. They also describe what researchers meant by context as understood through the framework for context. The authors found that context was important but often missing from research about TPACK and that the meaning of context has differed widely. They discuss these findings in relation to the TPACK literature as well as for educational technology research.
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Although educational technology research has rarely included context, educational research broadly defined has a rather extensive history with context. In 1938, Dewey used the word “situation” in a way that aligns with present definitions for “context” and its stated importance. Around the same time, Vygotsky suggested that individuals’ contexts mediate their psychological development. In this section, we review of more recent definitions as a way of introducing key ideas and research approaches relevant to considering context in educational research.

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