Garrison & Anderson (2003) say “The information age and the networked world are forcing educators to rethink the educational experience. It has become very clear that the value-add in a ‘knowledge-based future’ will be a learning environment that develops and encourages the ability to think and learn both independently and collaboratively. That is, critical and self-directed learners with the motivation and ability to be both reflective and collaborative, and, ultimately, with the motivation to continue to learn throughout their lives..” (p.20) They go on to say that digital technologies (e-learning) require radically new and different notions of pedagogy. (p.20) and that “[t]he challenge is to understand the emerging educational context and how we will create learning environments that will facilitate development of higher-order cognitive abilities and encourage these to thrive.” The phrase “value-add” is a little unclear and may in fact indicate a polarisation of outcomes between learners that are more able to independently learn and cooperate at one end of the spectrum and those who may need more support in learning and the use of technology. There is certainly a challenge in using digital technologies to “facilitate development of higher-order cognitive abilities” as many existing technologies need to codify knowledge and analysis making them less flexible in developing integrated critical analysis using deductive and inductive reasoning. That is not to say that the platform cannot play an important role in engaging the student and providing more inclusive learning environments. In developing cognitive abilities such as conceptual reasoning, creating learning community forums, for instance, can give equal access and status to contributors while providing the space to explore analysis and debate. Whether these will “thrive” is also a challenge in different ways. It is easy to identify conservative elements in teaching and learning practice and without additional resources to support a more transformational approach the growth of such practice will inevitably be more organic. There are also direct concerns over job security, intellectual property and workload models that are potential challenges. For learners, there is clearly a higher awareness and acceptance of new technologies in teaching and learning; although there are still barriers in terms of access to technology. For instance, while internet coverage has grown at a phenomenal rate, there is still a poverty gap in skills and access. Additionally, support has to be provided for those with disabilities that make accessing technology more problematic. Conversely, though, new technology has allowed better and more equal access to learning for many learners with disabilities.

Arsenal and Porto match means I need to go, will complete later.

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