After completing the assigned reading from Weller (2020) and learning more about the educational technology (ed tech) field, I was surprised to learn details of the challenges that early technologies faced when being implemented such as the lack of “buy in” from students and faculty, or the additional tech and support the technology needed. It led me to reflect back on Roger’s diffusion of innovation theory, to help explain why some of these technologies may not have been easily adopted while keeping in mind the notion Weller (2020) pointed out that ed tech is a fast changing field and has led to the mindset that you need to change with it or risk being left behind.
I was also surprised to learn that as web based learning gained popularity, people began to look for different models of teaching because of the new challenges which arose (Weller, 2020, p.27). This point stands out because it seems odd to me that questions were not asked and addressed prior to the implementation of the technology? Wouldn’t there have been a plan which included teaching model options? Was technology implemented with the hopes of bringing new solutions which ultimately introduced a new set of problems which may or may not have been predicted? In my work field, decisions are to be evidence based even when new products/innovations come out. It is in my nature to ask for evidence to support or back up its claims. I recognise that at the time, institutions were keeping up with the changes and that there was little to no research on web based learning at the time but I wonder what does the research show now? I look forward to continuing learning more about the histories of ed tech and discovering what we can learn from those histories.
Weller, M. (2020). 25 Years of Ed Tech. Athabasca University Press.