Editorial

#edjournal is an educational technology journal written by educators for educators that focuses on the pedagogy behind the use of technology in the classroom. The key question that #edjournal asks is: Where’s the learning?

I feel very privileged to welcome you to the first issue of #edjournal. When the idea for the journal was hatched in conjunction with James Michie and Doug Belshaw in the warm and relatively peaceful days of the summer, it came from a growing dissatisfaction with the way that educational technology continued to presented in schools as a panacea to the learning problems teachers and students faced. Estimates in the Times Educational Supplement state that around £600 million is spent in the UK on educational technology. Undoubtedly, some of it has beeninstrumental to raising the educational opportunities of our students but the gap between the level of spending and students/pupils benefitting educationally in terms of learning is dubious. From the stands at the BETT conference to the glossy presentations about new technologies helping to improve progression, the question that we, and many others began to ask was, ‘where is the learning?’ Gustave Flaubert, the meticulous author of Madame Bovary once said that writing about History was like ‘drinking an ocean and pissing a cupful’. It seems, following from Flaubert, that general encounters with educational technology are akin to drinking an ocean of money but pissing a cupful of tepid learning.

Encouraged and motivated by a number of educators across the country, the editorial team decided to do something to capture the thinking  where the learning becomes the principle behind the use of technology and not an afterthought. The results are, I am pleased to say, stunning and each educator has taken up the theme of learning and educational technology within their particular contexts.

On a curriculum planning level, Andy Kemp’s article on mathematics and the use of technology is interesting as it shows that a whole world of mathematical reasoning is closed off to our students because we have a limited conception of how maths can be taught. Andy argues that the appropriate use of technology could help rekindle a fascination with the subject and bring ‘balance’ to mathematical understanding that has been heavily limited by a focus on calculation. Within the classroom, Peter Richardson’s desire to create reflective learners showcases the intelligent use of ICT from a number of perspectives and spatial areas. Dawn Hallybone draws on gaming, often quoted as the bane of our society, to help improve the knowledge and understanding of animals in the Serengeti and the abstract concepts of ‘safari’ and environmental impact. The article I have written explores what learning can occur when you have a book, Wikipedia and the desire to contribute knowledge to the world (and improve your History GCSE answers). With institutions in mind, Jan Webb and Andrea Pellicia’s articles show a variety of ways to innovate with technology with learning in mind for both students/pupils and teachers.

The above should hopefully give you a glimpse of the direction of the journal in that we consider teaching and learning to be the most important determinant on whether an article is included. We hope you find something that resonates with your own work or challenges you to improve your own corner of the education landscape. Your thoughts and stories about what you are doing are most welcome and we are planning the second issue with a theme of ‘mobility’ so please get in touch if you would like to contribute.

Piecing the journal together has been an exhausting but exhilarating process and I want to thank the contributors, fellow editors and the many supporters we have. We hope that in some small way, the work presented here can lead to more than a cupful of learning in your environment.


NRD

November 2010

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