Life Transitions, Learning and Digital Technologies –Common Threads and Conceptions

  • Don Passey
Conference paper
Part of the IFIP Advances in Information and Communication Technology book series (IFIPAICT, volume 444)


This positional paper opened a symposium within the Information Technology in Educational Management (ITEM) strand of the IFIP KEYCIT conference in Potsdam, Germany, on 2nd July 2014. The key question asked, across the seven papers presented and included as chapters in this book, was: how do digital technologies support life transitions? The argument within this initial positional paper asked a pre-requisite question: what are life transitions, and how might they be connected to digital technologies and learning? Life transitions can occur at different times across a lifespan, and different technologies may be used by those involved, not only according to the age of the learner, but also according to their needs. Temporal shifts as learning technologies develop make their influences on life transitions difficult to generalise or even to monitor; affordances and facilities that learners can use over time, and which they can apply to their life transition needs, change, as digital technologies are diversified. This paper considers features and factors that affect learners in their uses of digital technologies in life transition settings. A framework for exploring the ways learners might use digital technologies within life transitions will be developed; other papers within the symposium explore factors and features in a variety of more specific settings and detail.


Life transitions digital technologies life transition factors life transition features 


  1. 1.
    Cranmer, S.: Digital skills and competencies in schools. In: Passey, D., Tatnall, A. (eds.) KCICTP/ITEM 2014. IFIP AICT, vol. 444, pp. 165–177. Springer, Heidelberg (2014)Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Leahy, D., Wilson, D.: Digital skills for employment. In: Passey, D., Tatnall, A. (eds.) KCICTP/ITEM 2014. IFIP AICT, vol. 444, pp. 178–189. Springer, Heidelberg (2014)Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Lee Angela, S.H., Lim, T.-M.: An Exploratory Study on the Use of Knowledge Management System and the Employees’ Perception on Organisational Knowledge Sharing and Reuse. In: In Passey, D., Tatnall, A. (eds.) KCICTP/ITEM 2014. IFIP AICT, vol. 444, pp. 205–218. Springer, Heidelberg (2014)Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Lim, T.-M., Lee Angela, S. H.: Using “Yams” for enterprise knowledge sharing among knowledge workers from the perspective of a task categorisation-knowledge sharing systems fit. In: Passey, D., Tatnall, A. (eds.) KCICTP/ITEM 2014. IFIP AICT, vol. 444, pp. 190–204. Springer, Springer (2014)Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Bee, H.: Lifespan Development, 2nd edn. Longman, New York (1997)Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Galton, M., Gray, J., Rudduck, J.: The Impact of School Transitions and Transfers on Pupil Progress and Attainment. DfEE, London (1999)Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Hargreaves, L., Galton, M.: Transfer from the primary classroom - 20 years on. General Teaching Council for England, London (2002)Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Ofsted: Changing schools - the effectiveness of transfer arrangements at age 11. HMSO, London (2002)Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Galton, M., Gray, J., Ruddock, J., Berry, M., Demetriou, H., Edwards, J., Goalen, P., Hargreaves, L., Hussey, S., Pell, T., Schagen, I., Charles, M.: Transfer and Transitions in the Middle Years of Schooling: Continuities and Discontinuities in Learning. DfES, Norwich (2003)Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Bohan-Baker, M., Little, P.M.D.: The Transition to Kindergarten: A Review of Current Research and Promising Practices to Involve Families. Harvard Family Research Project. Harvard Graduate School of Education, Cambridge (2002)Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Evangelou, M., Taggart, B., Sylva, K., Melhuish, E., Sammons, P., Siraj-Blatchford, I.: Effective Pre-school, Primary and Secondary Education 3-14 Project (EPPSE 3-14) - What Makes a Successful Transition from Primary to Secondary School? Research Report No. DCSF-RR019. Department for Children, Schools and Families, Nottingham (2008)Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Wolf, A.: Review of Vocational Education – The Wolf Report. Department for Education, London (2011)Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Lee, N., Sissons, P., Balaram, B., Jones, K., Cominetti, N.: Short-term crisis - long-term problem? Addressing the youth employment challenge. The Work Foundation (Lancaster University), Lancaster (2012)Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Davies, P.: Difficult Life Transitions: Learning and Digital Technologies - Discussion Paper and Preliminary Literature Review. Lancaster University, Lancaster (2014)Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Aubrey, C., Dahl, S.: A Review of the Evidence on the Use of ICT in the Early Years Foundation Stage. Becta, Coventry (2008)Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Ofcom: Communications Market Report. London: Ofcom. (2012), (retrieved September 20, 2014)
  17. 17.
    Eurostat: Data in focus 50/2010: Internet usage in 2010 – Households and Individuals (2010), (retrieved September 20, 2014)
  18. 18.
    Passey, D.: Strategic evaluation of the impacts on learning of educational technologies: Exploring some of the issues for evaluators and future evaluation audiences. Education and Information Technologies 4(3), 1–28 (1999)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Passey, D.: Independent evaluation of the uses of Espresso online digital resources in primary schools: Final Report – School Uses and Learning Impacts. Lancaster University, Lancaster (2011), (retrieved September 20, 2014)
  20. 20.
    Passey, D.: Inclusive technology enhanced learning: Overcoming Cognitive, Physical, Emotional and Geographic Challenges. Routledge, New York (2013)Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    CareTech Community Services: Supporting adults, (n.d.) (retrieved August 31, 2014)
  22. 22.
    NHS: Supporting children with autism into adulthood, (n.d.) (retrieved August 31, 2014)
  23. 23.
    Wyn, J.: Youth transitions in difficult times: Where and how do young people belong? In: Keynote Presentation at the Annual BERA Conference 2013. University of Sussex, Brighton (2013)Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Berger, P.L., Luckmann, T.: The Social Construction of Reality: A Treatise in the Sociology of Knowledge. Anchor Books, Garden City (1966)Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Ecclestone, K., Biesta, G., Hughes, M.: Transitions in the lifecourse. The role of identity, agency and structure. In: Ecclestone, K., Biesta, G., Hughes, M. (eds.) Transitions and Learning through the Lifecourse. Routledge, London (2010)Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    Hooley, T., Hutchinson, J., Watts, A.G.: Careering Through the Web. UK Commission for Employment and Skills, London (2010)Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    Cuban, S.: Deskilling migrant women in the global care industry. Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke (2013)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Passey, D.: Technology enhancing learning: Analysing uses of information and communication technologies by primary and secondary school pupils with learning frameworks. The Curriculum Journal 17(2), 139–166 (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Daniel, B., Schwier, R.A., McCalla, G.: Social capital in virtual learning communities and distributed communities of practice. Canadian Journal of Learning and Technology 29(3), 113–139 (2003)Google Scholar
  30. 30.
    Luckin, R.: Re-designing learning contexts: Technology-rich, learner-centred ecologies. Routledge, London (2010)Google Scholar
  31. 31.
    Vygotsky, L.S.: Mind in Society: The Development of the Higher Psychological Processes. The Harvard University Press, Cambridge (1978)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© IFIP International Federation for Information Processing 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Don Passey
    • 1
  1. 1.Centre for Technology Enhanced Learning, Department of Educational ResearchLancaster UniversityLancasterUK

Personalised recommendations