Q7: To what extent does an educational technologist have to navigate between 'innovative' trends and established practices?
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26 August 2009
'[...] position descriptions are often written and people selected based on their experience with the specific learning management system employed at the institution...while the value of skills with the existing system is important, the knowledge is confined to a specific system and can limit considerations of other approaches, which may be more coherent and practical'. (Jones and Muldoon, 2007, p. 453)
Does the literature raise any tensions between the service culture and a more developmental culture for the positioning of educational technologists?
Comment 1 by Tom Browne
9:18am 28 August 2009 (Edited 9:18am 28 August 2009)
I was so taken with this reference, I've taken the liberty here to bring it to a wider audience.
I'm bringing it to your attention because I found it a really interesting study on how people in different roles can 'see' a situation very differently, even though they are allegedly working towards the same goal.
It also raises some of the challenges that educational technologists have to negotiate between being at the 'disruptive periphery', where arguably much innovation takes place, and promoting the central enterprise systems.
Comment 2 by Martin Oliver
4:49pm 25 September 2009 (Edited 4:52pm 25 September 2009)
I'm working on a paper that, sadly, isn't going to be ready in time for this review. It points to some work I did while at UCL - you can see some of it at:
In particular, see section 4.2.2. and 7, which is going to form the core of this paper, if I ever get around to it...
The gist of this is that new practices are disruptive, and that learning technologist (-like) staff manage this disruption so as to prevent it from impacting too greatly on teaching. However, unless they gradually disrupt staff practices, they end up having to deal with this new "innovation"/change forever. It's only by gradually disrupting academics' work that the changes they have to deal with can be passed on to others, so that the work is sustainable in the long term (because teachers can now deal with it, not just specialists).
Comment 3 by Tom Browne
3:55pm 29 September 2009
I'd like to encourage you to write this planned paper! I have had difficultly, however, printing the pdf file you note above. I print mostly blank pages - so very economical on ink. But the little that was printed raises the issue of a lack of regard by some academics for the expertise that is available from educational technologists. It reminds me of my outpouring of frustration in 1999 when I wrote a paper entitled Harnessing the synergy between academic departments and central IT services in supporting student learning. in Active Learning, 11, 31-35. It was available online in the old ILTHE archives but no longer appears to be so. Anyway, the best bit is the title, which really says it all. In those days, more a cry of despair than actuality. But of course, times have changed ...
Comment 4 by Martin Oliver
4:17pm 29 September 2009 (Edited 4:18pm 29 September 2009)
Thanks for the encouragement. I'll add this to the "urgent: do in this lifetime" pile.
In the meantime, let me know if you want me to print and post a copy of the section.
...and who could we contact to get that Active Learning paper back in circulation? Or do you have a copy of it that we could, with suitable permissions if necessary, put up somewhere?
Comment 5 by Tom Browne
5:46pm 8 October 2009
Martin, a long delayed answer re. my 1999 paper ...
The HEA have told me that even if the old LTHE held the copyright then they will pass it to me.
However, I do not have a digital copy of it and nor, any longer does the HEA in their old LTHE archives.
A forlorn hope, but might any contributors to this CloudScape have a digital copy of the pdf file?