The purpose of this paper is to argue for the importance of sociological approaches to educational technology research which can make new advances in the field that complement the existing research base. Such research can address questions of how individuals use technology across different spheres of their lives, including education, and asks what role technology plays in educational institutions and how it interacts academic practices. Research of this kind can tells us much about how we might adopt and adapt technologies from outside education to support teaching and learning. By conceptualising technology use as social practice, rather than as attributes of a tool or inherent traits of individuals, we can begin to understand how the values and assumptions that underpin the ways technologies are used can enable or constrain their integration into education. The paper draws on two recent studies to illustrate how this approach can be used to frame research in educational technology and suggests avenues for future research.