Digital, Material and Networked: Some Emerging Themes for Set Education

Sarah Davies
The Open University, United Kingdom

Elaine Thomas
The Open University, United Kingdom

Steve Walker
The Open University, United Kingdom


Boundaries between the digital and material worlds are becoming blurred as the internet increasingly connects us to things as well as people and information. This is increasingly relevant to education as initiatives which significantly combine digital and material elements in networks are becoming a reality for Science, Engineering and Technology (SET) learning. Our paper reports on the initial findings of a project to carry out a ‘state of the art’ review of literature to establish the key themes, opportunities and obstacles that are emerging from the development and use of these ‘hybrid’ systems in learning. We wanted to explore the extent to which this new domain of study is being reported in the literature and to identify work representative of this area. Our aim was to investigate the depth of research in this area by going beyond the technologically descriptive to focus on pedagogical and organisational issues raised in the literature.

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