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Ed Tech Outside the U.S.
November 23, 2009 - 9:28pm

The degree of my ignorance of educational technology outside of the U.S. was brought home to me by how eagerly I listened to an EDUCAUSE podcast with Yves Paul Epelboin, Director of IT for Teaching and Learning at the Universite Pierre Et Marie Curie in Paris.

Check out the podcast and you start to get the idea that compared to the U.S., resources for European educational IT are even more constrained. In fact, Epelboin makes the point that the U.S. could learn a great deal about the efficient use of scarce resources from our continental cousins.

I have had fairly significant interactions with educational technology colleagues in Canada and Australia. In fact, for their relative population size, a disproportionate share of innovation and energy in learning technology seems to originate in these countries. The work of the Open University in the U.K. also gets lots of attention in our circles, so the U.K picture is a bit better known.

Where I guess my blind spot mostly resides is in non-English language speaking countries. I'm mostly interested in understanding the world of the academic technologist in Asia, Europe, South America etc...although any larger context of understanding would be great.

Here is a partial list of some of the things that I don't know. If anyone can point us towards the answers, or at least some resources, then I'd be most appreciative:

Questions about Academic (Postsecondary) Technology in the Non-English Speaking World:

  • What are the dominant LMS systems? What are the trends in terms of adoption for the various platforms?
  • Do U.S. learning technologist have counterparts at non U.S. institutions? Do we do similar work?
  • How do the ratios of academic IT staff per enrolled student (FTE) vary by country? How does campus IT funding as a percentage of total campus expenses in various countries compare to U.S. institutions? What is the balance of academic vs. administrative IT spending for institutions in different countries?
  • What is the adoption of blended and online learning programs by country and compared to the U.S.?

I'm at a place where I know so little about the international educational technology picture that I don't know what I don't know. Doing some Googling around was not very helpful in terms of finding out basic levels, trends and information about the careers of learning technologists throughout the world.

I'd be curious to hear if this is the sort of knowledge that is more widely disseminated, and I have just missed some boat. Do you think it is important for us to understand the international dimensions the learning technology discipline amongst our non-English speaking counterparts? How would you go about doing research?


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