I have long held to the tenant that technology, especially computer technology, makes process manifest. As much as some of the conversations we are having now in higher ed are the result of new possibilities that technology innovation have enabled, many of them are also conversations about very long standing practices and processes that progressive technologization has brought to light, made manifest, and thrown into question. So for me, the fact that the ed tech community talks about a myriad of topics that are not directly technological (e.g. pedagogy, intellectual property, access, power and control in the institutions, intellectual freedom, etc) is, far from being aberrant, critical to our field and one of the reasons I chose to work with technology in the context of higher education, rather than some other context.
So it is with great pleasure that I came across the above blog, Lanny on Learning Technology, by Lanny Arvin, an educational technologist at UIUC who came to ed tech from the field of economics. (Some will remember UIUC as the home of NCSA’s Mosaic, as well as the originators of a very early CMS, Mallard, so quite a prodigious lineage there). The reason for my little digression above is that Lanny’s recent posts have been on issues dealing with the costing of education, and from my perspective such posts are of great interest as this is clearly one of the factors we need to consider in our technology choices, and also an issue that the technology is making more and more manifest. But don’t get the impression that all of Lanny’s posts are on economic topics – his post last month concerning “how many CMS is enough?” was in part what led me to write recently on “Moodle and Mission Criticalness.” Great to have another distinct voice on the scene. – SWL