Cathy Adams, PhD, MAdEd, BSc (Computing Science)

Professor, Faculty of Education - Secondary Education Dept


Professor, Faculty of Education - Secondary Education Dept
(780) 492-5769
441 Education Centre - South
11210 - 87 Ave NW
Edmonton AB
T6G 2G5



Drawing on links between phenomenology, pedagogy, and philosophy of technology and media scholarship, Dr. Adams’ research program addresses digital technology integration across K-12 and post-secondary educational environments; ethical and pedagogical issues involving digital media in schools; Phenomenology, postphenomenology, and related sociomaterial approaches to qualitative inquiry (e.g. interviewing objects); and K-12 Computing Science curriculum and pedagogy

Dr. Adams is affiliated with the Faculty of Education's Technology and Learning Sciences Lab (TALS). She is currently a Mitacs Research Council (MRC) board member, a member of the executive board of the Media Ecology Association, and part of the Pan-Canadian K-12 Computer Science Framework Advisory Group. She has served as Pedagogy Editor for Explorations in Media Ecology, and on the editorial executive of the open access journal, Phenomenology and Practice. Other projects include maintaining Max van Manen's website, a popular resource for human science researchers. She recently headed up the research assessment team for the CanCode-funded Callysto project, a free, interactive, curriculum-based Computational Thinking and Data Science development tool for schools. 

If you are interested in pursuing graduate studies in education focusing on the pedagogy of technology, K-12 Computing Science education, or topics based in phenomenology or postphenomenology, please contact Dr. Adams at


Undergraduate Teaching

EDU 210 Introduction to Educational Technology

EDCT 400/500 Coding and Computational Thinking for Teachers

Graduate Teaching

EDSE 510 Research Methods in Secondary Education (online)

EDSE 577 Pedagogy of Technology: Teachers and Students as Cyborgs

EDSE 611 Phenomenological Research


EDHS 501 - Philosophy of Teaching

Priority given to graduate students in the Master of Education in Health Sciences Education program. This course examines the major philosophical foundations of teaching and learning, and their practical applications to health sciences education. Philosophical traditions will be considered within the context of historical conceptions and emerging theoretical perspectives within health sciences education. Sections are offered in a Cost Recovery format at an increased rate of fee assessment.

Fall Term 2020
EDU 210 - Introduction to Educational Technology

This course examines frameworks, trends, issues and futuristic scenarios on the role of technology in education. Students will gain hands-on experience of using technology, with a special emphasis on strategies for integrating technology into the school curriculum. Students may not receive credit for both EDU 210 and EDIT 202. Prerequisite: EDU 100 or pre/corequisite EDU 300 (After Degree students). May contain alternative delivery sections; refer to the Fees Payment Guide in the University Regulations and Information for Students section of the Calendar. [Department of Educational Psychology]

Fall Term 2020 Winter Term 2021

Browse more courses taught by Cathy Adams

Scholarly Activities

Research - Publications

Recent Publications

Adams, C., & Thompson, T. L. (2016). Researching a Posthuman World: Interviews with Digital Objects. Basingstoke and London: Palgrave MacMillan.

Adams, C. (2016). Programming the gesture of writing: On the algorithmic paratexts of the digital. Educational Theory, 66(4), 479 – 497. doi:10.1111/edth.12184

Adams, C. (2015). Subject matters of digital technology and computing science curriculumIn M. F. He, B. Schultz, W. Schubert (Eds.), The SAGE Guide to Curriculum in Education. (pp. 87-96). Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications. doi:

Yin, Y., Adams, C., Goble, E., and Vargas Madriz, F. L. (2015). A classroom at home: Children and the lived world of MOOCs. Educational Media International, 52(2), 88-99. doi: 10.1080/09523987.2015.1053287

Adams, C. (2014). What's in a name? The experience of the other in online classroomsPhenomenology & Practice, 7(2), 51-67.

Adams, C., Yin, Y., Vargas Madriz, F. L., Mullen, C. S. (2014). A phenomenology of learning large: the tutorial sphere of xMOOC video lectures. Distance Education, 35(2). doi:10.1080/01587919.2014.917701

Adams, C. & Thompson, T. L. (2014). Interviewing the digital materialities of posthuman inquiry: Decoding the encoding of research practices. In S. Bayne, C. Jones, M. de Laat, T. Ryberg & C. Sinclair (Eds.), Proceedings of the Ninth International Conference on Networked Learning 2014 (pp. 1-8). University of Edinburgh.

Rose, E., & Adams, C. (2014). “Will I ever connect with the students?” Online teaching and the pedagogy of care. Phenomenology & Practice, 7(2), 5-16.

Van Manen M., & Adams, C. (2014). Phenomenological pedagogy. In Phillips, D.C. (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Educational Theory and Philosophy. London, UK: Sage.

Thompson, T. L. & Adams, C. (2013). Speaking with things: encoded researchers, social data, and other post-human concoctions. Distinktion: Scandinavian Journal of Social Theory, 14(3), 342- 361.

Adams, C. (2012). Technology as teacher: Digital media and the re-schooling of everyday life. Existential Analysis, 23(2), 262-273. 

Adams, C. (2012). PowerPoint and the pedagogy of digital media technologies. In M. Orey, S. A. Jones, & R. M. Branch (Eds.), Educational Media and Technology Yearbook, Vol. 36, pp. 139 – 154. New York, NY: Springer.  

Adams, C., & Jubien, P. (Eds.). (2012). Proceedings of the Media Ecology Association Twelfth Annual Convention, Vol. 12. New York, NY: Media Ecology Association. 

Grogan, C. & Adams, C. (2012). Interactive Whiteboard integration as both subversive and conserving teaching activities: another look at the literature. In T. Bastiaens & G. Marks (Eds.), Proceedings of World Conference on E-Learning in Corporate, Government, Healthcare, and Higher Education 2012 (pp. 1793-1804). Chesapeake, VA: AACE.

Rose, E. & Adams, C. (2012). ‘Where the action is’: Using phenomenology and media ecology to explore Learning Management Systems as boundary spaces. Proceedings of McLuhan's Philosophy of Media Centennial Conference 2011. Brussels, Belgium: Vrije Universiteit Brussel.

Adams, C., & Pente, P. (2011). Teachers teaching in the new mediascape: Digital immigrants or “Natural Born Cyborgs”? E-Learning and Digital Media, 8(3), 245-255. 

Adams, C., & Thompson, T. L. (2011). Interviewing objects: including educational technologies as qualitative research participants. International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education, 24(6), 733-750.  

Adria, M. & Adams, C. (2011). Readers’ Forum introduction: The age of McLuhan, 100 years on. English Studies in Canada, 36(2-3), 1-4.  

Adams, C. (2010). Teachers building dwelling thinking with slideware. The Indo-Pacific Journal of Phenomenology, 10(2), 1-12.  

Adams, C. (2010). “The materiality of learning: technology and knowledge in educational practice”: Book review. Alberta Journal of Educational Research, 56(4), 482-484. 

Adams, C. (2010). Teaching and learning at the interface: Tending to our fledgling cyborgs. Proceedings: The Second International Academic Conference on Phenomenology and Pedagogy, (pp. 1-14). Beijing: College of Education, Capital Normal University. 

Adams, C. (2010). iCyborg: Shifting out of neutral and the pedagogical road ahead. In M. Ebner & M. Schiefner (Eds.), Looking Toward the Future of Technology Enhanced Education: Ubiquitous Learning and the Digital Native (pp. 145 – 157). Hershey, PA: IGI Global.

Pente, P. & Adams, C. (2010). The slow breath to tenure: Unwinding the university. Journal of Educational Thought, 44(1), 117 –130.

Van Manen, M., & Adams, C. (2010). Qualitative research: Phenomenology. In E. Baker, P. Peterson and B. McGaw (Eds.), International Encyclopedia of Education, vol. 6 (pp. 449–455). Oxford, UK: Elsevier.

Van Manen, M., & Adams, C. (2010). Phenomenological research. In C. Kridel (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Curriculum Studies, vol. 2 (pp. 641-645). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Adams, C. & van Manen, M. (2009). Phenomenology. In: Given, Lisa M. (Ed.), The Sage Encyclopedia of Qualitative Research Methods (pp. 614-619). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. 

Van Manen, M., & Adams, C. (2009). The phenomenology of space in writing online. Educational Philosophy and Theory, 41(1), 10 – 21.

Online Resources

Adams, C. (dir.) & Goble, E. (2014). Research methodologies: Action research, a short video interview with Dr. Terry Carson [Video file]. Available: (35 minutes)

Adams, C. (dir.) & Goble, E. (2014). Research methodologies: Actor Network Theory, a short video interview with Dr. Terrie Lynn Thompson [Video file]. Available: (25 minutes)

Adams, C. (dir.) & Goble, E. (2014). Research methodologies: Arts-based research, a short video interview with Dr. Diane Conrad [Video file]. Available: (22 minutes)

Adams, C. (dir.) & Goble, E. (2014). Research methodologies: Grounded theory, a short video interview with Dr. Maria Mayan [Video file]. Available: (30 minutes)

Adams, C. (dir.) & Goble, E. (2014). Research methodologies: Mixed methods, a short video interview with Dr. Bill Hanson [Video file]. Available: (17 minutes)

Adams, C. (dir.) & Goble, E. (2014). Research methodologies: Phenomenology, a short video interview with Dr. Max van Manen [Video file]. Available: (65 minutes)

Adams, C. (dir.) & Goble, E. (2014). Research methodologies: Quantitative research, a short video interview with Dr. Todd Rogers [Video file]. Available: (58 minutes)

Adams, C. (dir.) & Goble, E. Research methodologies: Métissage, a short video interview with Dr. Dwayne Donald [Video file]. Available: (25 minutes)

Van Manen, M. (2011). Phenomenology Online: A Resource for Phenomenological Inquiry, 2nd Edition (M. van Manen & C. Adams, Eds.). Available at: