Materials for Teaching, Research and Policy Making

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KEY WORDS: Adult Education; Computer Assisted Instruction; Computer Mediated Communication; Computer Uses in Education; Distance Education; Educational Development; Foreign Countries; Higher Education; Lifelong Learning; Pilot Projects; Technology Role; United Kingdom.

Gorard, S., & Selwyn, N. (2005). Towards a le@rning society? The impact of technology on patterns of participation in lifelong learning. British Journal of Sociology of Education, 26(1), 71-89.

This paper is based on 1001 home-based interviews with UK adults. It describes their varying patterns of participation in lifelong learning & their use of technology for learning & leisure. It finds that 37% of all adults report no further education of any kind after reaching compulsory school leaving age. This proportion declines with each age cohort, but is largely replaced by a pattern of lengthening initial education & still reporting no later education. These patterns of participation are predictable to a large extent from regression analysis using a life-order model of determining variables - all of which are set very early in life. This suggests that universal theories to describe participation, such as human capital theory, are incorrect in several respects. Where individuals create, for themselves & through their early experiences, a 'learner identity' inimicable to further study, then the prospect of learning can become a burden rather than an investment for them. This has implications for the now widespread & extensively funded notion of overcoming barriers to access via technology.
KEY WORDS: Adult Education; Information Technology; England; Wales.

Gradwell, J. (2003). Technology education in Canada: A mosaic. Canadian Journal of Science, Mathematics and Technology Education, 3(1), 17-35.

Describes technology education on a province-by-province basis. Groups various approaches to technology education into three categories and summarizes them. Provides illustrative examples and focuses on the objectives of the curriculum, the way the content of the program is structured, and recent developments.
KEY WORDS: Curriculum Development; Educational Change; Foreign Countries; Secondary Education; Technology Education; Work and Learning.
Gunderson, M., Jacobs, L., & Vaillancourt, F. (2005). The information technology (IT) labour market in Canada: Results from the national survey of IT occupations. Ottawa: Software Human Resource Council.
In the new economy, portals have replaced ports, bytes have replaced bits, and the information highway has replaced the conventional highway as the basic infrastructure of the information economy. Ports, bits and conventional highways are still important; but even they are sustained by information technology (IT). In the new knowledge economy IT is crucial—in fact IT is almost synonymous with the knowledge economy. In our highly developed economy it is imperative that we facilitate the transformation of information into the knowledge. Canada needs to sustain its productivity and competitiveness. To sustain a high-wage economy like Canada’s, a highly skilled, highly productive workforce is crucial. This is especially true in IT—and increasingly so given the feasibility of outsourcing and off-shoring service and IT functions. Canada cannot, and does not want to compete on the basis of wages with low-wage economies throughout the world. This means that Canada must have a flexible, adaptable and skilled workforce to maintain high productivity and high wages. In a world where the prices of goods, physical and financial capital and other inputs are increasingly fixed in the global market place, the comparative advantage of a country like Canada will increasingly depend on the skills and knowledge embedded in its workforce.
KEY WORDS: New Economy; Information and Technology; Knowledge Economy; Canada.

Haynie, W. J., III. (2003). Gender issues in technology education: A quasi-ethnographic interview approach. Journal of Technology Education, 15(1), 16-30.

Interviews with 12 female technology education practitioners revealed that they felt accepted in the profession but sometimes felt isolated, patronized, or minimized by a minority of male colleagues. More women in the profession as role models and mentors would help improve the climate.
KEY WORDS: Ethnography; Gender Issues; Sex Discrimination; Sex Stereotypes; Technology Education; Work and Learning.

Heidegger, G. (2007). The social shaping of work and technology as a guideline for vocational education and training. Training, 1997, 238-246.

This article explores new tasks of vocational education and training (VET) from the perspective of the German educational system for the upper secondary level. The study outlines a proposal to enrich the German "dual system" of vocational education with elements of "general" education. The author argues the focus should be on the "social shaping of work and technology", emphasizing the importance of "doing" in relation to "thinking". The article also discusses the problem of legitimizing criteria for shaping work and technology, and making use of dialectical ideas.
KEY WORDS: Technology; Vocational Training; German; Dual System; Work and Technology; Adult Education.
Hennessy, T., & Sawchuk, P. (2003). Worker responses to technological change in the Canadian public sector: Issues of learning and labour process. The Journal of Workplace Learning, 15(7/8), 319-325.
This article reports selected findings from a study on the changing nature of work, learning and technology in the Canadian public sector (Ontario). Vis-a-vis the involvement of a major management consultant firm, these findings mirror the experiences at the nexus of policy, labour process and technology, seen in several other western countries, the authors examined workers' learning responses to management-led introduction of a leading edge, Web-based social service delivery system. The paper show how neo-Taylorist principles have shaped work design, and argues that the result has been a high-tech from a "de-skilling" (Braverman) in which semi-professionalized case management workers' skill/knowledge sets have been systematically broken down. The process has been contested however. Workers have sought to learn and re-skill, generating not only specific computer-based skills (or "work-arounds") but more general, collective cultures of learning within the everyday life of work. This learning is sometimes in keeping with managerial interest, and sometimes not.
KEY WORDS: Organizational Change; Public Sector Organizations; Deskilling; Trade Unions; Learning Processes; Canada.

Imel, S. (2003). Informal adult learning and the Internet. Trends and issues alert. Ohio: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.

The Internet seems an ideal medium for fostering and supporting informal adult learning because it allows adults to seek out and use resources independently, control the pace and direction of learning, and talk to and consult others. Because it provides access to information, encourages meaningful interaction with information or material, and brings people together, the Internet supports learning that is constructivist in nature and that builds on prior knowledge. Issues have been raised related to the Internet and its role in informal learning, including access; degree of control that governments or other agencies might exercise over information available through the Internet; incomplete understanding of the extent and type of learning that is occurring; skills needed to engage in self-directed learning on the Internet; motivation for those who use the Internet for informal learning; and how technology can be improved.
KEY WORDS: Access to Education; Adult Education; Adult Learning; Computer Mediated Communication; Computer Uses in Education; Constructivism (Learning); Experiential Learning; Independent Study; Informal Education; Information Seeking; Information Sources; Internet; Learning Motivation; Pacing; Prior Learning; Student Motivation.

Information Technology Association of America. (2000). Best practices in school-to-careers: The information technology industry. Arlington, VA: National Employer Leadership Council, Washington, DC.

This booklet highlights the efforts of five employers that rely on information technology (IT) workers and one "intermediary" organization connecting workplace experiences to classroom learning for secondary education students. The introduction lists the employers' and organizations' names, locations, and featured practices. The next three sections examine the IT industry; reasons why school-to-careers is an ideal strategy for addressing information technology industry skill needs; skills and certifications; and how the employer participation model works with students and teachers. These employers and intermediaries and their best practices are profiled: (1) The Kemtah Group (Albuquerque, New Mexico), which promotes school-to-careers experiences for under-represented populations; (2) The Gallup Organization (Omaha, Nebraska), which is helping students explore and understand the needs and demands of technology-driven workplaces; (3) EDS (Dallas, Texas), which gives students work-based opportunities; (4) Manpower, Inc. (Milwaukee, Wisconsin), which provides training and certification opportunities for students; (5) Intel Corporation (Santa Clara, California), which is working with teachers to make a difference through technology; and (6) Greater Louisville, Inc. (Louisville, Kentucky), which is building coalitions to connect work and learning. The following items are also included: (1) an annotated list of eight organizations and resources; (2) a glossary; and (3) a discussion of steps to build on the National Employer Leadership Council's agenda.
KEY WORDS: Academic Standards; Adjustment (to Environment); Advisory Committees; Annotated Bibliographies; Career Awareness; Career Ladders; Case Studies; Change Strategies; Communications; Computer Oriented Programs; Computer Software Development; Computers; Cooperative Planning; Demonstration Programs; Education Work Relationship; Information Linking Agents; National Organizations; National Standards; Nonprofit Organizations; Partnerships in Education; School Business Relationship; Secondary Education; Skill Development; Special Needs Students; Student Certification; Technical Occupations; Vocational Education; Work Environment; Work Experience Programs; World Wide Web.

Jackson, P., & Reima, S. (Eds.). (2002). Ebusiness and workplace redesign. London: Routledge.

As the growth in teleworking, 'virtual teams' and 'virtual enterprises' has demonstrated, the economic landscape is increasingly characterized by an ability to work across spatial and organisational boundaries. Only with this redesign of working methods and business processes can the possibility of the digital age be delivered. eBusiness and Workplace Redesign argues that the key context for much of today's technology-supported organisational change is being established by developments in eBusiness. In the handling of change, this book places particular emphasis on how the design of work and use of space can be organized and managed in more systematic and effective ways. In doing so, we are shown how organisations can embrace the new technologies and business opportunities presented by the Internet by creating more productive, dynamic and sustainable workplaces that exploit the benefits of these new practices of work flexibility.
KEY WORDS: New Economy; Knowledge Workers; Workplace Alternatives.

Jiang, J., Klein, G., Beck, P., & Wang, E. (2007). Lack of skill risks to organizational technology learning and software project performance. Information Resources Management Journal, 20(3), 32-45.

The authors propose that, to improve the performance of software projects, a number of practices serve to control risks in the development process. These include a lack of essential skills and knowledge related to the application domain and system development process. A potential mediating variable between lack of skill and project performance is the ability of an organization to acquire the essential domain knowledge and technology skills through learning, specifically organizational technology learning. However, the same lack of knowledge that limits good project performance may also inhibit learning. This study explores the relationship between information system personnel skills and domain knowledge, organizational technology learning, and software project performance using a sample of professional software developers. Findings suggest that the relationship between information systems (IS) personnel skills and project performance is partially mediated by organizational technology learning.
KEY WORDS: Organizational Learning; ICT; Knowledge Work; Software; Knowledge Management; Skill.

Jorna, F., & Wagenaar, P. (2007). The 'iron cage' strengthened? Discretion and digital discipline. Public Administration, 85(1), 189-214.

According to the authors, research on changes in public administration associated with the adoption and use of information and communication technologies ('informatization') strongly suggests that shop floor discretion disappears under their influence. The authors challenge this direction in thought about discretion based on the scholarly work about practices, organizational learning and responsiveness. This article examines the relation between informatization and operational discretion in a study of two large, highly automated Dutch public agencies. The authors use their findings to argue that informatization does not destroy operational discretion, but rather obscures discretion. Based on the work of Argyris, they propose that the phenomenon actually occurring is 'participatory boundary practices', the direct personal ties that keep an organization together. ICTs destroy such links and thereby affect organizational learning.
KEY WORDS: Discretion; ICT; Automation; Organizational Learning; Participatory Boundary Practices.

Jung, I. (2003). Online education for adult learners in South Korea. Educational Technology, 43(3), 9-16.

Analyzes three applications of online learning and technology in South Korea: development of single-mode virtual universities; online education in conventional universities; and Web-based corporate training. Concludes with principles of online learning derived from experiences in implementing such environments.
KEY WORDS: Adult Education; Adult Students; Computer Assisted Instruction; Computer Uses in Education; Conventional Instruction; Developing Nations; Distance Education; Educational Development; Educational Technology; Foreign Countries; Higher Education; Nontraditional Education; Online Systems; Professional Development; Program Development; Training; South Korea.

Kolehmainen, S. (2001). Work organisation in high-tech IT firms. Tampere: University of Tampere.

Along with the growth of the service sector in the information society, the most rapid growth has happened in business services, including computer and related services. These high-tech knowledge-intensive business services produce sector-specific knowledge on new technology and distribute it to other industries of the economy. Therefor, they are important actors within the wider innovation system. High-tech business service firms operate in quickly developing 'turbulent' markets, which challenges their ability to adapt to the changes and transform along them. The success of business depends to a large extent on their intangible assets, mainly on their human capital. In order to guarantee the innovativeness and competitiveness of their business and the organisational commitment of their employees, it is imperative for the firms to pay attention to and invest in the organisation of work and competence. New emerging high-tech business services with increased knowledge intensity of work implicate the changing content of work which both demands and encourages new and diverse forms of work organisation. The focus of this paper is on describing the typical organisational features of a specific category of knowledge work, which is information system (IS) expert work in specific a category of knowledge-intensive business services, namely high-tech IT service firms.
KEY WORDS: New Economy; High Tech; Workplace Change.

Langemeyer, I. (2006). Contradictions in expansive learning: Towards a critical analysis of self-dependent forms of learning in relation to contemporary socio-technological change. Links, 7(1), Art. 12.

The article argues that current policies to expand and "flexibilise" labour markets represent trends within a broader push for "employability". To achieve this "employability", workers and the unemployed are encouraged to participate in "lifelong learning". In such a context, the traditional understanding of education as instructional pedagogy is increasingly supplanted by learner-centred approaches which allow more autonomy and individuality within the actual learning process and demand greater personal responsibility. While such self-dependent learning has been construed as providing an alternative to traditional education, the author concludes that the challenges of "new" forms of learning are just as rife with contradictory as formal schooling models. Two case studies, part of a larger enquiry on a vocational training program for IT-specialists, are used to build understanding of contradictions in relation to learning, and to exemplify an analysis of the current changes in education processes.
KEY WORDS: Expansive Learning; Self-Directed Learning; Learner-Centred Pedagogy; Lifelong Learning; Restructuring; Work; CHAT; Activity Theory.

Lien, B., Hung, R., & McLean, G. (2007). Organizational learning as an organization development intervention in six high-technology firms in Taiwan: An exploratory case study. Human Resource Development Quarterly, 18(2), 211-228.

Organizational learning (OL) is discussed as a concept that describes how individuals collect, absorb, and transform information into organizational memory and knowledge. This case study explored how six high-technology firms in Taiwan chose OL as an organization development intervention strategy. Issues focused on included the best ways to implement OL; how individuals, teams, and organizations learn; and the extent to which OL activities contributed to organizational performance. Findings led to the identification of five themes: (1) using language with which employees are familiar, (2) implementing OL concepts that are congruent with employees' work or personal life, (3) putting individual learning first and diffusing it to team learning and organizational learning, (4) using the knowledge management system to create an opportunity for individuals, teams, and the organization to learn, and (5) linking OL to organizational strategy to improve organizational performance.
KEY WORDS: Organizational Learning; Knowledge; Employee-centred Learning; Organizational Restructuring.

Liker, J. K., Haddad, C. J., & Karlin, J. (1999). Perspectives on technology and work organization. Annual Review of Sociology, 25, 575-596.

Major perspectives on the relationship between technology and the nature of work suggest that technology's impact on work is contingent on a broad set of factors. How this is viewed varies with different theoretical paradigms. Historically, the treatment of technology as a deterministic causal force had predictable impacts. Recently, there has been recognition of the complexity of technology and its relationship to work that is both bidirectional & dependent on a number of contingent factors. Factors integral to the impact of technology are the dynamics of the change process. In fact, the change process & outcomes are inextricably linked. In conclusion, the social reality of technology implementation is highly complex. Very different technologies are brought into different social settings for different reasons, often with completely opposite effects. Complex theories that recognize the emergent & socially constructed nature of technology are needed.
KEY WORDS: Technological Innovations; Technology Assessment; Technological Change; Adoption of Innovations; Work Organization; Organizational Culture; Organizational Change; Office Automation.

Marks, A. (2008). Choreographing a system: Skill and employability in software work. Economic and Industrial Democracy, 29(1), 96-124.

Software developers are often associated with high-status, technical knowledge work; however, evidence is mounting of changing skills requirements. The article examines the increasing importance of social competencies, as well as technical skill, which have received increasing attention by those studying occupational and labour process change. This article focuses on how changing skills in software work affects employability in the sector. The study draws empirical evidence from developers, managers and HR practitioners in four Scottish software organizations.
KEY WORDS: Employability; Knowledge Work; Social Competencies; Software Employment; Technical Skill; Labour Process; ICT.

McLoughlin, C., & Luca, J. (2002). A learner-centred approach to developing team skills through web-based learning and assessment. British Journal of Educational Technology, 33(5), 571-582.

Considers higher education and professional learning and describes a Web-based course focusing on project management skills, including collaboration. Discusses professional knowledge; self-directed learning; social processes of professional learning; integration of learning and assessment; social support for professional skills; cognitive support for professional learning; and task design based on project-based learning.
KEY WORDS: Cooperation; Evaluation Methods; Evaluation Research; Higher Education; Independent Study; Interpersonal Relationship; Learning Processes; Professional Education; Professional Occupations; Teamwork; Web Based Instruction; Cognitive Strategies; Knowledge; Project Management; Task Definition.

Milheim, K. L. (2007). Influence of technology on informal learning. Adult Basic Education and Literacy Journal, 1(1), 21-26.

Research suggests that technology use among adult literacy students has positive effects on learning outcomes, with the majority of these studies focused on traditional classroom environments where technology is used as a supplement to existing instruction. Adult literacy students are affected in many ways by technology use within less structured settings; yet, these outcomes are often not considered or discussed within the research. This literature review discusses the role technology plays in informal learning outcomes among adult literacy students, and presents recommendations for practitioners based on this analysis.
KEY WORDS: Educational Technology; Informal Education; Adult Literacy; Adult Education; Classroom Environment; Technology Integration; Computer Uses in Education; Literature Reviews; Interpersonal Relationship.

Moreland, J., Jones, A., & Northover, A. (2001). Enhancing teachers' technological knowledge and assessment practices to enhance student learning in technology: A two-year classroom study. Research in Science Education, 31(1), 155-176.

Reports on a two-year classroom investigation of primary school technology education. Explores emerging classroom practices in technology and intervention strategies developed to enhance teaching.
KEY WORDS: Educational Change; Elementary Education; Intervention; Professional Development; Teacher Attitudes; Technological Literacy; Technology Education; Work and Learning.
Mulholland, P., & Ivergård, T. K., Stuart. (2005). Introduction: Contemporary perspectives on learning for work. Applied Ergonomics. Special Issue: Contemporary Perspectives on Learning for Work, 36(2), 125-126.
Papers in the current issue of the journal Applied Ergonomics, 36 (2005). In the past decade we continue to witness many changes in the nature of organisations and working life. Coping with rapid technological change, greater job mobility and greater job insecurity are increasingly common characteristics of employment. Changes have had a significant impact on the requirements and methods of competence development and workplace learning. The most prevalent trend is the increasing need for life-long learning (Fischer, 2000). Workers cannot expect to acquire all necessary skills in formal education in advance of their careers. Career changes, necessitating further learning are becoming increasingly common. Technological developments are increasing the rate at which methods of working have to change in order to keep up-to-date, efficient and competitive. Papers in this issue highlight the need for increased research into both human & social factors of rapid technological change and the role that e-learning can play in meeting increasingly high demands for skills and competence. The papers, we hope, will serve to motivate further research work in this important area.

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