Introduction and objectives

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From the past: One room schoolhouse interior, Michigan
Thinking about change in education
The only way of discovering the limits of the possible is to venture a little way past them into the impossible. ... Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.

—Arthur C. Clarke, 1962[1]

Many educators teaching today may have imagined video phones when they were playing as children when growing up. Today, with the convergence of digital technologies between the Internet and mobile telephony, participating in a Skype video call or Google Hangout on your cell phone is no longer fanciful thinking or imagining the future. That which was mere speculation within our lifetimes is now reality. These digital communication technologies, which are evolving at a rapid pace, could have huge potential for learning. However successful implementation in education is both multifaceted and complex.

In this unit we will introduce a framework for thinking about change with digital technology in education. This is the framework which will guide and structure our studies on this course. The arena of change will provide better understanding into successful implementation of change with digital technologies.

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The overall aim of this unit is to develop a conceptual overview ("Gestalt") of change with digital technology in education. In this unit you will:
  • Analyse change with digital technology in education from an ecological perspective using the arena of change
  • Apply the arena of change to your own situation and identify relevant ecosystems which are related to your personal change context
  • Be presented with an overview of models of change
  • Review the structural components of Roger's theory of innovation diffusion as an organising framework
  • Prepare a plan to guide your review of change models applied to your personal context.


  1. Hazards of Prophecy: The Failure of Imagination'" in the collection Profiles of the Future: An Enquiry into the Limits of the Possible.