Recently, I have been travelling throughout parts of Southern BC and reading 25 years of ed tech by Martin Weller. In my previous work as a high school teacher and a career and college preparation instructor I rarely considered the impact of early advancements made in the internet age starting in 1994. I have kept up with technological improvements as they became useful to me “good enough is usually the victor in terms of popularity if it can be made universal (Weller, 2020, p. 18). This is my first foray into WordPress.

I began my teaching career in 1987 as a student at SFU’s Tele-Learning site in Kelowna, BC. The technology was cumbersome but the enthusiastic technologists were certain that the messaging systems attached to our phone lines and the tiny new Macintosh computers in the lab would be useful. In my youthful opinion they were not; my hands would sweat at the thought of touching the new tech. Now I have the opportunity to read Weller’s (2020) fascinating account of ed tech over the last 25 years and have insights into parts of pedagogy that I have previously ignored or have had little interest in. A modern pandemic is underway and my interest has been sparked.

One of the most interesting chapters within the book so far is the inclusion of constructivism (chapter 4) in a book about ed tech. Yet, this educational theory which I have associated with intense face to face engagement  apparently gained new appeal by 1997 when ” the web gave agency to learners — they could create, collaborate, and discover for themselves freed from the conventions of time and distance” (Weller, 2020, p. 29). This concept may be obvious to those more familiar with ed tech, but I have been struggling with the idea of online learning, seeing it as a limiting in terms of implementing experiential place-based learning where the “live encounter” based on direct experience as envisioned by Roberts (2016) takes place.

References

Roberts, J. W. (2016). Experiential education in the college context: What it is, how it works, and why it matters. New York, NY: Routledge.

Weller, M. (2020). 25 years of ed tech. Athabasca University Press. https://doi.org/10.15215/aupress/9781771993050.01