This Technology and Learning blog will ideally be a space for conversation and debate for those of us active in creating the discipline of learning technology. This blog is written by and for people in the "middle" - those of us with aspirations to provide strategic leadership to our institutions and companies but who spend most of our time on the tactical aspects of learning technology.
This blog comes with an agenda. My hope is that some folks will make their way to this space, disagree vehemently with the overall agenda and/or individual posts, and let us know exactly how my thinking has gone off the rails.
Agenda #1: Explore the ways in which our profession of learning technology is emerging as an academic discipline.
Agenda #2: Participate and contribute in reform efforts to move higher-education towards student/learner centric models of course/program design and teaching, changes informed by learning theory and catalyzed by technology.
Agenda #3: Highlight, comment, discuss and contributed to innovations in teaching and learning at the space where learning and technology intersect. (Check out Malcolm Brown's Educause talk on Learning from the Future for a great overview of how the process of innovation plays out in our discipline.
These interrelated agendas are explored further in a column I wrote with my colleague Dr. Barbara Knauff for the Educause Review "Business Cards of the Future", an article in which we attempted to explain the role of learning technologists as educational change agents.
This blog is a spinoff of a Dartmouth group blog on educational technology. I hope that if you found your way to Technology and Learning that you will check out the ccblog - as it contains many voices from my local community sharing thoughts and links on innovations in learning and technology. I'd also highly recommend that your department, unit or group start and nourish a group blog if you are not already doing so - as we have found a group blog to be a wonderful tool to collaborate, communicate and expose ideas.
In this Technology and Learning blog I plan to take a more provocative stance towards the issues, communities, vendors, technologies and trends that impact folks working in learning technology. This will partly be done to provoke - as I look forward to taking on the EduPunks, the Blackboard Defenders, the Learning Gurus, the Cloud Nuts, the Biz Dev Schmoozers, and everyone in between. I will critique as a member of the tribe, hopefully with modesty and affection, as people who work in learning technology (both on college/university side and on the vendor side) are my friends and colleagues. I think we are a force that will lead change at our institutions of higher learning, but a force that has all too often been marginalized by our structural position as "support" units for faculty and our relative invisibility as untenured and occupationally indeterminate mid-level learning technology professionals.
Finally, this blog is motivated and animated not only by the agendas that have been articulated but by some deeply personal concerns as well. In 2017 and 2019 my children will leave to attend college, and I go to work each day hoping to make some small contribution to insuring that their experience with higher education be something better then what I experienced 3 decades prior. I am convinced that the pairing of sound learning theory (and an advanced understanding of how our brains learn) with the innovative utilization of appropriate technologies will catalyze the necessary reforms in the construction and delivery of higher education.