About Us

DeFL, is a community of researchers engaged in the exploration of digital technologies within the educational context across all contexts of education, including; formal and informal, schooling, pre and post schooling. We are focused on examining practice, approaches and research around digital technologies that shape the future of education. Our research is driven through experimenting, observing and evaluating the impact which technology has had on society and within education in particular.

DeFL draws from the following themes:

  • Digital:  as being any device/tool (eg mobiles and virtual reality headsets), systems (the internet, social media), and processes (games, VR, AR, AI) that are digitally mediated.
  • Education: as being the process of teaching or learning in any way that is digitally mediated including Technology-enhanced, Flexible, Blended, Online, Virtual, Distance, Remote; across any sector in which learning happens be it formal (schools, tertiary, training) or informal (lifelong learning, MOOCs, connected learning). Drawing in new ways of learning and open and digital pedagogies, and inclusive policies.
  • Futures: as interrogating the purpose of technology for education through the adoption of a critical lens that problematizes the role of digital technology in our past, present and future educational contexts.

Our strategic areas of focus:

  • Digital Policy and Inclusion: Focused on educational policy and social issues around the integration of digital technology within education. Includes critical issues around wellness, ethics, citizenship, and equity.
  • Innovative Technologies: Focused on new and emerging technologies and pedagogies for effective teaching and learning.
  • Developing Effective Practices: Focused on supporting and developing effective practices and readiness for the integration of digital technologies in education driving positive student and educators experiences.

The community generally comprises of the students within the School of Educational Studies and Leadership (EDSL) undertaking research within the e-Learning and Digital Technologies in Education endorsement. But does include a wider network of colleagues and researchers within and outside UC which are involved in research in this area.

The lab is led by:

Cheryl and Kathryn are both Associate Professors within the College of Education, Health and Human Development (COEHHD) at University of Canterbury.