This thesis offers dialogue about the relations between learning and Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs). The dialogue is guided by the question of how to design education to increase perceived values of learning. It pays attention to how learners approach learning availabilities in various learning settings based on learners’ perceived values of learning. The aim is to understand the perceived values of learning in order to reflect its relation to ICTs. The field of learning is understood from the perspectives of formal, non-formal and informal learning. The field of ICTs is understood from the perspectives of information, communication and technology. The perspectives of learning and ICTs are chosen as a way to understand them by ‘going back to basics’ to find an origin or a point of departure for reinterpreting and understanding them. This approach has influenced the presentation of the thesis and how it is structured so that dialogic and interpretive research opens up dialogic spaces for reflections regarding the relations between learning and ICTs.
Two studies in two different education systems, formal and non-formal, are included in the thesis work. The data are collected via qualitative methods such as photo interviews and individual and group interviews in which learners’ expressions of learning are in focus. The approach of the included articles that present the two studies was to first understand learning and then relate it to the understanding, potential and use of ICTs. The results and contributions from the articles are summarised via the three perspectives of the perceived values of learning, the relations between learning and ICTs and the influences of perceived values of learning. The theoretical tools, pedagogical attitude and positioning of ICTs guide the discussions and analysis of these perspectives towards the conclusions of the thesis work.
The reader of the thesis can expect a journey along a winding road, which both addresses and involves policies’ and researchers’ implications and conceptions of learning and education. A framework for the perceived values of education when perspectives of learning and ICTs are related is considered to represent the understanding of the coherent whole of the thesis work. Three main contributions of the thesis work are put forth. The first contribution is the framework for perceived values of education, or the perceived value framework (PVF). The second contribution is the understanding of perceived values of learning. The third contribution is the specific photo interviews about learning situations that is considered to be a contribution to already existing methods such as photo-eliciting (Cappello, 2005) and stimulated recall (Haglund, 2003).