Education and Technology for transformative learning: Cyberculture or Third Culture?


Alexandra Okada, Monday 30 June 2014 |

The International Forum on Education and Technology  was held in Tarragona, Spain on 27 and 28 June. Over 1000 people across the world gathered at the Palau Firal i de Congressos to discuss the role of technology in Education for transformative learning. Several topics were covered during this event: teachers’ digital competence, educational policy for a network society and new learning scenarios in the 21st century.


Prof. Dr. Jabari Mahiri from the University of California, Berkeley,  Dr. Valentí Puig from the Universitat de Barcelona,  Ronda Zelezni-Green from m-Schools GSMA and  Dr. Alexandra Okada from The Open University – UK  were invited as keynotes to discuss transformative education through technology: Cyberculture or Third Culture?


Mahiri and Okada presented together some examples to introduce both concepts: Third Culture(Brockman,1995; Snow, 1959) and  Cyberculture (Levy, Castells). Their examples highlighted how technology has been integrated into our daily lives changing the way we teach and learn in the digital age. New concepts have been emerging such as “learning culture”, which refers to colearners who develop and create new ways of learning with technologies throughout their lives (Hodkinson et al., 2005; Delni, 1998; Okada & Mahiri, 2014).  A key issue for today's education is to investigate how learners can create and disseminate knowledge as well as develop effectively their 21st century competences.


Okada also presented two European Projects: weSPOT (working with social, personal open technologies) and ENGAGE (Equipping the next generation for active engagment in Science). Both projects focus on promoting scientific literacy in formal and formal Education.  Her research team aims to investigate innovative frameworks and best practices for collaborative inquiry based learning, particularly for participatory communities to promote scientific and digital literacies.


The Education & Technology Fair received thousands of teachers, young students and educational authorities interested in digital trends in education. This event open to the public showcased the latest technologies associated with education, including robotics, augmented reality, mobile and wearable technologies. During the event, Okada was invited to participate in the research group about wearable technologies for inquiry based learning.

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