Ceaselessly Exploring, Arriving Where We Started and Knowing It for the First Time

Richard Davies

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In this paper I explore the implications of the increasing social and sociable uses of new, mobile internet associated technologies (MIATs) for online learning. In particular I focus on tablet computers as at the vanguard of this shift. Drawing on discourses of technobiophilia and phatic communion, the propositions explored in this paper are that: (a) that internet associated technologies have been shaped by and reflect the ways in which humans engage with objects and each other in the physical world, (b) that of particular significance for MIATs are frequent small scale social interactions between users, and (c) that a more detailed consideration of these affordances would enhance online learning. I develop this account by considering the potential role of relationships for supporting the development of socially cohesive learning groups and the enhancement of online learning. In particular I focus on the need for partiality within a learning group and mechanisms for managing conflict. I conclude by offering two broad principles for a more sociable online learning experience.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)293-303
JournalStudies in Philosophy and Education
Issue number3
Early online date18 Mar 2016
Publication statusPublished - 01 May 2016


  • online learning
  • mobile technologies
  • phatic communion
  • technobiophilia
  • relationships


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