A common criticism of the field of educational technology is that it has a tendency to ‘reinvent the wheel’ rather than building on learnings from the past. Although this criticism has also been levelled at the field of education as a whole, in educational technology the problem is made greater by a tendency to see each new technology as entirely novel. New technologies are often assumed to have their own unique pedagogical affordances, rather than delivering traditional learning designs on new platforms. From this standpoint I was excited to be invited to deliver a presentation which is, on the one hand, a futurist look at where we are heading as a field, and on the other consciously reflects on where we have come from. The presentation will use the history of the ASCILITE conference as an underlying thread to reflect on the history of educational technology research and practice. An analysis of past conferences including themes, keynotes and best papers will be used to identify the foci of educational technology scholarship over the past 30 years. Parallels will be drawn with the wider education and socio-political landscape. Building on this reflective platform, the presentation will conclude with a speculative and imaginative view of possible futures. Recent Horizon Reports will be used to help predict technological trends alongside an examination of emerging political and economic trends. A picture will be painted of possible utopian and dystopian higher education futures and the technologies which will enable them to occur.

About Professor Barney Dalgarno

Professor Barney Dalgarno is Director of Learning Online at Charles Sturt University, leading strategic innovation for Australia’s largest online learning provider. Professor Dalgarno’s research contributions have been in three broad areas: the relationship between learning technology and learning theory; learning in polysynchronous learning environments, including 3D virtual environments; and university teacher and student use of learning technologies. He has had international influence over many years through journal editorship, conference program committee leadership, and assessing of teaching awards and research grants for international bodies. He has obtained numerous grants and consultancies for higher education research and innovation and has authored over 75 refereed publications. Professor Dalgarno has received recognition for his innovative teaching and research including ALTC Citations in 2007 and 2011 and a 2013 ASCILITE Fellow Award.

Catch this session

Wednesday 6 December, 1.30pm – 2.30pm
Room H102 Allison Dickson Lecture Theatre