Both Cox (2012) and Voogt, Knezek, Cox, Knezek, & Brummelhuis (2011) report on some of the challenges inherent in both integrating technology effectively and assessing the impact on this integration on learning. The goal posts for technology keep shifting with the evolution of technology and therefore there are few constants in the research process. There are also many and overlapping variables that interfere with research outcomes and accuracy.
Both Cox and Voogt et al. indicate that further research is required to examine the relationship between formal and informal learning with technology, and what the impact is of the latter. Essentially, this is a challenging proposition as once again many variables are present; including varied access to technology in informal settings, student attitudes and motivation as well as family attitudes and rules in regards to the use of technology in the home.
Amongst other challenges, the lack of substantiated results impacts the faith that many educators have in the usefulness of technology for learning. One of the recommendations made by Cox is to involve teachers in the e-learning decision making process in order for successful integration. In my workplace, the recent needs analysis allowed all stakeholders to have their say in regards to the future direction for ICT, which was an effective strategy for many reasons. Involving multiple perspectives broadened the research data but also enabled people to feel part of the process.
I find the dilemma of how to provide effective teacher training in the use of technology an ongoing interest. As the authors reference, traditional teacher training methods are not necessarily effective for improved uptake and integration of ICT and it may require a determined whole school approach – shared vision and goals – in order for effective progress to be implemented.
This whole school vision would require a considerable cultural shift in my recent workplace, which is much easier said than done. As articulated by Voogt et al., a tangible connection with pedagogy is required, along with strong leadership, school wide adoption and access to ICT, connections to the community and industry and an openness to the adoption of new trends.
A school philosophy that supports trial and error, risk-taking and failure as a valuable way to creatively work with and integrate new technology and pedagogical approaches will support a more confident approach for those educators who are unconvinced about the benefits of ICT integration.
References

Cox, M.J. (2012), Formal to informal learning with IT: research challenges and issues for e-learning. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2729.2012.00483.x. retrieved from http://ezproxy.csu.edu.au/login?url=http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2729.2012.00483.x

Voogt J., Knezek G., Cox M.J., Knezek D.&ten Brummelhuis A. (2011) Under which conditions does ICT have a positive effect on teaching and learning? Acall to action. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning. 15 November 2011, DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2729.2011.00453.x. Retrieved from http://ezproxy.csu.edu.au/login?url=http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2729.2011.00453.x