Sunday, January 3, 2010

New Year Notes from the AECT President

I hope that everyone has had a happy and safe holiday. The new year is off to a good start. We have interest from India in affiliating with their educational technology association, and we are finalizing plans for an affiliation with the Indonesian educational technology association. The National Technology Leadership summit is going to be held next week in Hawaii. I will be there representing AECT and both Abbie Brown and I will be there representing our journals. We hope to see an NSF ITEST proposal in collaboration with SITE (Gerald Knezek) and AACE result focusing on a repository for assessment and evaluation instruments.

I thought I would pass along a few thoughts about a couple of the writing assignments with which I am now involved; I would very much appreciate your input. First there is the 4th edition of the Handbook of Research on Educational Communications and Technology (with Dave Merrill, MJ Bishop and Jan Elen as co-editors). We will soon have a draft table of contents to share with AECT members for feedback. We are planning to have mostly new chapters and will again encourage more senior authors to team up with less senior authors. We plan to retain the broad international coverage we had in the 3rd edition and we will again have online access to AECT members through our agreement with Springer.

I am also co-editing with Susanne Lajoie a book series entitled “Explorations in the Learning Sciences, Instructional Systems and Performance Technologies,” again with Springer as the publisher. This series will consist of 12 or 13 volumes published over a three-year period. Keeping up with new technologies and how they might be integrated for the betterment of society is an ongoing challenge for all professionals. This book series is aimed at promoting dialogue among these various communities and in helping professionals maintain their knowledge and skills in a very dynamic and challenging climate of change and innovation. Susanne and I welcome your ideas for books in this series. The first book by John Sweller focusing on cognitive load theory and implications for the design of instruction is already in the production queue.

I am also editing a new textbook series to be published by Taylor-Francis/Routledge entitled “Integrative Approaches to Educational Technology: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Technology in Support of Learning, Performance, and Instruction.” The benefits of technology in terms of improving learning, performance and instruction have not been fully and widely realized for a variety of reasons. Funding for education typically lags behind funding in other sectors, such as healthcare and engineering, where the benefits are arguably more obvious and more easily measured. One fundamental reason for the lack of substantial and sustained success in realizing the potential benefits of technology in education is the lack of proper preparation of teachers, instructional designers, technology coordinators, media specialists, training developers and others who play key roles in implementing new technologies in various instructional contexts. This textbook series is aimed at those professionals and is intended to provide up-to-date, practical support for their preparation and continuing professional development. I am currently working on the first volume in the series that focuses on the foundations of educational technology. I am a bit behind in getting this book to the publisher, partly due to problems with technology (computer and email crashes in December from which I have still not fully recovered). Anyway, your thoughts about the foundations of our discipline and this series are also most welcome.

It looks to be a busy and hopefully productive 2010. All the best to all of you.

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