Whither educational technology plans?

That’s Educational Technology with caps, I mean. In other words, the institution of Ed Tech, in the way that it emerged over the past 25 years. Educational technology that created a new wave of interest in teaching in different ways, an exploration of the capacities and semantics of new or repurposed technologies in the classroom and on the Web. I joined an interesting webinar this morning where the topic of an educational technology–oops I mean Educational Technology–plan on a larger, provincial scale was discussed. The discussion took an interesting turn fairly early on in that many of the obviously seasoned participants recognized that (beyond an institutional or provincial context in terms of technology layers–LMS’s, etc.), we are really talking about collaboration and teaching/learning innovations not technology per se. And this is a collaboration that takes place at many different levels. For instance–how to deal with the push (demand?) for asynchronicity while at the same time seeking collaborative, team based learning strategies? With enough cooperation and collaboration, this is possible where the will exists to pool learners from beyond institutional boundaries and create virtual drop-ins where participants can move from mini-cohort to mini-cohort within one course or learning unit across (gulp) an entire province…or beyond. This is not an impossible task, particularly if courses are carefully assembled into discrete but reasonable chunks each of which is run continuously or frequently and students can participate on a drop-in basis. This is not a new idea and has been around in various iterations earlier; i.e. learning consortia. Knowing how things work, it seems impossible…but we can always dream…

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