edtech, ed-tech, or ed tech?

More than a shorthand for educational technology.

April 9, 2017

When it comes to turning ‘educational technology’ into a single word - we are all over the map.

IHE editorial norms call for the hyphen - for ed-tech.

We see educational technology shortened to the two words - ed tech - less and less, but the practice still persists in some places.  

I write edtech.  

Does how we write edtech / ed-tech / ed tech really matter?

Unpacking the name reveals how extensive its meaning.  

We use edtech to talk about an industry, a profession, a series of practices, and a point of integration.  EdTech can stand in for a sector and a philosophy.  An orientation and an occupation.

There are those amongst us who think that edtech just might be an academic discipline.

Is it possible that the idea of edtech has outgrown its educational technology origins?

Edtech is not only short for educational technology, but something different.  

Where educational technology is a description of what is, edtech is notion of what might be.  Edtech is another way of saying change.

Edtech is not in the OED.  Edtech will not be found in dictionary.com. (The site asks - "Did you mean detach?")  Nor on merriam-webster.com.  

I asked Google “is edtech a word?”.

Google found edtech on MacMillan.com  


NOUN /ˈedˌtek/

educational technology: the creation, use and management of technological resources in education

On the Harper Collins Publishers site, edtech makes it as a “new word suggestion”.


Short for Educational technology

Submitted By: DavedWachsman3 - 30/01/2013

Approval Status: Pending Investigation

The Cambridge Dictionary has edtech as:

noun [ U ] /ˈed.tek/

​short for educational technology

What I think that I’m trying to argue is that all of these definitions - where there are definitions - are no so much wrong, but incomplete.

The argument is that edtech is no longer short for educational technology.  Rather, that edtech has become its own word.  

When we talk about edtech we are entering a conversation about the role of technology in education.  

Edtech deserves to stand on its own.

What do you think?


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Joshua Kim

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