A Case Study of a Blended Doctoral Program in Educational Technology

A Case Study of a Blended Doctoral Program in Educational Technology

Michele Jacobsen (University of Calgary, Canada)
Copyright: © 2011 |Pages: 17
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60960-479-0.ch010

Abstract

Educational technology is a hands-on, minds-on discipline that emphasizes knowing and doing. In this field, doctoral education needs to reflect digital and communication realities in the twenty-first century. In this case study, a blended learning approach to graduate education in educational technology is explored from the perspective of the author’s own classroom. The course design and blended delivery of an Advanced Concepts in Educational Technology seminar is described in detail. Active learning opportunities, using wikis, blogs, avatars and virtual worlds, learning managements systems, email, and face-to-face learning experiences engaged doctoral students in the collaborative investigation and critique of educational technology trends and research ideas. Doctoral students investigated their emerging digital lives as scholars and developed a personal cyberinfrastructure that they can continue to build, modify, and extend throughout their educational technology careers.
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Rethinking Doctoral Education

In educational technology, we know that doctoral education needs to be reshaped for the twenty-first century. “New technologies are altering and accelerating the way knowledge is shared and developed. And the marketplace for scholars and scholarship is now thoroughly global” (Walker, Golde, Jones, Bueschel & Hutchings, 2008, p. 2). The growing reliance on the Internet and social networking tools for collaboration, sharing, creating and communicating knowledge in the developed world often exists in sharp and painful contrast to the paucity of meaningful and reliable access to the Internet in many developing countries and contexts (Marshall, Kinuthia & Taylor, 2009). In short, education needs educational technology leaders and researchers who understand what has gone before in order to design and develop what is needed next in a technology enabled, knowledge society.

Helping people to learn is the primary and essential purpose of any educational technology (Janusewski & Molenda, 2008). From its beginnings in educational film and radio, through the audio-visual era and then personal computing and the Internet, the field of educational technology has shaped and has been shaped by an “increased awareness of the difference between the mere retention of information for testing purposes and the acquisition of knowledge, skills and attitudes used beyond classroom walls” (Janusewski & Molenda, 2008, p. 4). As our theories about knowledge change in concert with rapid advancements in educational technology, the field needs to consider the political, social, economic and cultural implications for learners and for learning in diverse international contexts, and that requires that the field itself examines how we prepare the next generation of educational technology scholars and leaders.

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