Below are short summary notes of each reading along with my reflection on some of the major topics, why they are important, and how it affects my personal perspective and approach to teaching .


Weller, M. (2018, August). Twenty Years of Edtech. EDUCAUSE Review, 53(4). Retrieved from

  • EdTech is a fast changing field
  • Over the last 20 years, here are the most popular edtech topics:
    • Wikis – a jointly editable website
    • E-Learning (primarily post-secondary focused)
    • Learning Objects
    • Standards for E-Learning platforms
    • Open Educational Resources (OER’s)
    • Blogs
    • LMS (Learning Management Systems)
    • Videos (e.g. Youtube, Vimeo, etc.)
    • Web 2.0
    • Virtual Worlds
    • E-Portfolios
    • Twitter and Social Media
    • Connectivism
    • Personal Learning Environments (PLE’s)
    • Massive Open Online Communities (MOOC’s)
    • Open Textbooks
    • Learning Analytics
    • Digital Badges
    • Return of Artificial Intelligence
    • Blockchain

Weller notes that technologies in education tend to come back around. For example, Learning Objects were the first step to making teaching content reusable; and the ideas that were generated from learning about them lead to the creation of Open Educational Resources (OER’s). He states the importance of anyone working in the field of educational technology to understand the history in order to use and improve ideas to move forward.

Zawacki-Richter, O., & Naidu, S. (2016). Mapping research trends from 35 years of publications in Distance Education. Distance Education, 37(3), 245–269.

This article maps out trends in education by analyzing the titles and abstracts of research papers on the topic of distance education over a 34 year time period (1980-2014) in five year intervals. So much has changed over the last decade in educational technology, yet not much is documented or remembered as things change and warp so fast. The trends are dictating that OER’s and MOOCs are an evolving part of the distance education field.

Peter, S., & Deimann, M. (2013). On the role of openness in education: A historical reconstruction. Open Praxis, 5(1), 7–14.

Peter and Deimann review the history of openness in education from the middle ages to the present. In the middle ages, open education began with student universities and public lectures.  Then moving on to coffee houses, open universities, and more recently MIT OWC, MOOC’s, and Coursera. There is much to be learned from the history of open education in order to continually develop the current space of open education.

So What

As discussed in our class meeting, one of the comments in Wellers article seem to be counter intuitive – things have changed massively, yet nothing has changed. Through conversation we came to the agreement that the structure of education is still the same, but the ways in which we interact and engage students is changing.  For example, new technology is always being  introduced into classrooms and they are often engaging students in a different way, however, it hasn’t changed education as a whole. And that the technology revolution is more about managing the experience of education, not changing the education system as a whole.

One of the important tidbits of information that came out of these articles was the fact that learning about the history of open education is important in order to figure out what has been done before and how to implement that  in the future. As we looked through the list of past open education resources, things have tended to repeat themselves. So the question for new innovations in educational technology is to develop sustainability in open communities. There are often so many new ‘toys’ or applications that come and go. But how can we ensure that they are going to be effective and sustainable long term?

Another topic that came out of the class discussion was how to open source education and research. How/why would researchers spend time on a project if they weren’t getting compensated in some way. So in turn, what company is going to provide resources free of charge from people who are providing them free of charge?! It is hard to get people to do work and then give it away for ‘free’.

Now What

Here are some questions that are going to help guide me in my technology implementation:

  • What open education resources do I use and take advantage of?
  • What open education resources do I provide for staff and/or students?
  • How can I choose open educational resources that will sustain? Are there indicators based on historical research?