Instructional design or school politics? A discussion of 'orchestration' in TEL research

C. Perrotta, M. A. Evans

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


This paper argues that the emphasis on orchestration as a metaphor for teaching in technology-enhanced learning (TEL) environments, featured in recent academic discussions, is an opportunity to broaden the scope of the inquiry into educational technology. Drawing on sociological literature and research that investigated the systemic factors that influence the uptake of information and communication technologies in formal and informal learning contexts, the paper contends that a focus on instructional design does insufficient justice to the complexities of actual technology use in classrooms and after-school programs. It is suggested, instead, that orchestration might better be used as a heuristic device to deepen our understandings of the relationships between power, bestowed on teachers or claimed by them through a number of strategies, educational technology, and teaching practices. The paper concludes that to fully understand this relationship and to support teachers, concern should be given equally to the existing political and cultural dynamics of TEL environments. Examples of orchestration as a political, cultural process are provided, illustrating how teachers appropriate technology and 'innovative' pedagogies to negotiate power.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)260-269
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Computer Assisted Learning
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Informal science education
  • Learning-by-design
  • Orchestration
  • Power
  • Video games

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