I contributed a chapter to a book called “The Really Useful #EdTechBook” which was published on 28th January 2015. The book was edited by David Hopkins (@hopkinsdavid), an eLearning Consultant for the Warwick Business School, who had assembled a number of very respected individuals from different educational sectors and backgrounds to write about differents aspects of learning technology and learning technologists. As David explains:
‘The Really Useful #EdTechBook’ is about experiences, reflections, hopes, passions, expectations, and professionalism of those working with, in, and for the use of technology in education. Not only is it an insight into how, or why, we work with these technologies, it’s about how we as learning professionals got to where we are and how we go forward with our own development.
My own contribution to the book considers the challenges that learning technologists face in trying to make sense of this role and what it means. The chapter is called “‘…and what do you do?’: Can we explain the unexplainable?“, and the following abstract should whet your appetite:
Unlike other occupations, the job title of ‘learning technologist’ does not elicit the same kind of shared, universal understanding of most other professions, such as teacher, doctor or solicitor. We find that even within our own communities of practice that it is a little difficult to explain or define what it is that we do. Furthermore, Browne & Beetham (2010) note in their report that there are “varying nuances” between the terms ‘learning technology’ and ‘educational technology’. Thus, exasperating an already complex and divergent field that is still trying to make sense of the confusing and contradictory nature surrounding the terminology and interpretation of names and job titles that have been generated through the likes of definitions, lists, and socially constructed discourses.
In this book chapter, through my own personal experience, I will try and derive some sense of meaning behind those troublesome terms and consider how this impacts on how we, as learning professionals, are perceived from within and outside of our professional communities and institutions.
The book can be purchased from Amazon, or in the spirit to promote openness and collaborative learning practices, a PDF version of the book can be freely downloaded from David’s blog.
Browne, T. & Beetham, H. (2010). The positioning of educational technologists in enhancing the student experience. Report funded by The Higher Education Academy under their Call4: Enhancing Learning and Teaching through the use of Technology. Oxford, England: Association for Learning Technology (ALT) and The Higher Education Academy (HEA). Available at: http://repository.alt.ac.uk/831/ [Accessed 1.2.2015].