Student Engagement with Learning Technologies

Derek Larkin, Kim Huett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (journal)peer-review


This paper seeks to add to the discussion surrounding young adults’ relationship and engagement with learning technologies, exploring whether they naturally engage with these technologies when the use of them is either compulsory or optional. We discuss our findings in relation to whether young people are truly engaging with technologies or whether they are simply passive consumers of some technology, and unenthusiastic innovators in others. Participants in the UK (N=6, Mean Age 20.66, undergraduate psychology students) provided their responses to a short series of face-to-face interviews using open-ended questions designed to elicit a critical exploration of their learning experience with particular emphasis on learning technologies. Participants in the USA (N=26, Mean Age 22.38, pre-service teachers) responded to a series of short open-ended questions submitted online using asynchronous video journals uploaded to a private classroom space on YouTube. We found that young people are generally unenthusiastic users of learning technologies, which has significant implications for the educational sector in the UK and the USA, as many of our participants are pre-service teachers. At a time when great emphasis is being placed on increasing student access to technologies in the classroom; to enrich the learning experience, and to offer greater opportunity for understanding and discovery of information, trainee educators seem reluctant to engage with many types of educational technologies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)49-58
JournalPsychology Teaching Review
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2013


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