Revisiting cognitive tools from a social and motivational perspective

Xun Ge, Murat Turk, Woei Hung


The concept of computers as cognitive tools has been revisited to provide insight into the motivational and social dimension in light of the emerging technologies. Central to this concept are the two opposing philosophical views: learning from technology (amplification view of technology) versus learning with technology (constructivist view of technology). A literature review is provided on the paradigm shift in educational technologies from the “learning from paradigm” to the “learning with” paradigm. While the literature review shows powerful affordances of emerging technologies in engaging community of learners in knowledge construction and building, a critical analysis also indicates a significant gap in the traditional conception of cognitive tools, that is, a lack of research in the motivational and social dimension.  Therefore, the purpose of this study was to investigate the motivational and social dimensions of cognitive tools in the context of emerging technologies, with the substantiation of empirical evidence from the literature.


Cognitive Tools; Mindtools; Motivational support; technology affordances, Web 2.0

Full Text:



Copyright (c) 2019 Australasian Journal of Educational Technology