Using activity theory and its principle of contradictions to guide research in educational technology
AbstractThis paper describes how activity theory (AT) and its principle of contradictions may be relied on to guide research in educational technology. The paper begins with a theoretical overview of AT and of its principle of contradictions. It follows with a synthesis of studies that have used AT as a lens to study information and communication technologies (ICTs) in educational contexts. We analyse educational technology studies that have focused on contradictions in terms of their underlying assumptions, research questions, approaches to analysis, findings, and implications. The lens of AT and contradictions provides a versatile tool to inquire into various aspects of educational technology use, taking into account individual and institutional perspectives as well as evolution over time. AT and its principle of contradictions provide insights into how transformation may occur with use of ICTs in educational contexts.
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