This paper focuses on some of the author's research studies over the past thirty years and places these in a wider context to reflect on research into affective issues in learning technologies over this period, and to consider whether and how the issues uncovered by research have changed as technologies have developed over time. Three issues are given particular attention: firstly the reasons for learners' use or lack of use of technologies for their learning; secondly adult learners' attitudes towards using technology for learning and thirdly how technology might support socio-emotional development and expression in children. The discussion of these issues is framed by two of the author's research projects. For the first two issues this is an early study of students' perceptions and attitudes towards using computers for tutorial learning in 1980. The factors that influenced the students' use of the computer tutorials are discussed (including access, assessment and anxiety about using computers) and also the extent to which some of these factors persist for many learners using (or not using) technologies today. The discussion of the third issue draws on a series of studies conducted in the 1990s to investigate whether educational technology could support children and young people's emotional expression and communication and development of socio-emotional skills. Finally the paper considers how these kinds of issues have been taken forward and how they are represented in contemporary research and suggests that trust is an important factor in using learning technologies
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