Instrumentalism / Essentialism


  • Technology itself is the embodiment of pedagogical principle (not the use of technology)
  • Tends to pit teachers and technology in opposition to each other


  • Technology is simply a response to society’s needs and so there is no tension between technology and values
  • Wide use is often used as proof of success / failure blamed on humans

“…the design of technologies makes assumptions about the social world that can be expressed in terms of moral programs or human values. Where these assumptions correspond to or foster disadvantage, the resulting designs work against the interests of excluded groups. But despite the seeming intransigence of this situation, the critique of existing technology does not have to be voiced as rejection.”

Hamilton, Edward, and Norm Friesen. ‘Online Education: A Science and Technology Studies Perspective. Canadian Journal of Learning and Technology, vol. 39, no. 2, Feb. 2013. doi:10.21432/T2001C.

In practice…