Managing Technology in Higher Education: A Discussion Undiscussed #change11

This week’s #change11 MOOC features Tony Bates, who started the session off with a rare Sunday synchronous session on the topic of Managing technology to transform teaching, based on his book Managing Technology in Higher Education: Strategies for Transforming Teaching and Learning. I enjoyed the live session of this, even though I missed the first half of it due to login issues with the required Java environment that was not included in my copy of Mac Lion.

While I did not feel I have much to talk about in this area (quite interesting, but somehow I need more prompts), I visited Tony’s website for the book (as he suggested in his week’s intro) and then I saw it–he invited us to discuss the topic on his book’s built-in forum. The site is rather flashy, nicely built and designed (publishers do nice work to help promote and publicize books, as well as savvy authors who want to get their message out), and sure enough, there were loads of discussion questions, 34 of them to be precise. What I found most interesting is that, at the time of this post here, there were only 2 replies. Yes, that’s it–2.

Thinking about all the time and energy it took to install and design and organize the forum, as well as the resources spent on identifying those 34 questions, done 4-7 months ago(once again, at the time of this post), there were only 2 replies.

34 questions, 4-7 months old, and 2 replies.

I won’t even begin counting the nested Scenarios in the Forums (on the bottom of the same page).

The question I have, is why? Why so little discussion on something seemingly so valuable? Even after talking about this on the live #change11 session (with thousands of people registered and others informally participating), with the promotion the authors are surely doing, and even with those finding this through other means, why so little discussion?

I find the topic interesting. The authors are engaging. What I have read about the text is lively, valuable, and forward-thinking. I have had some relationship with higher education for years. I like technology in HE. I even like to read and discuss all of this, so I know I am not alone.

The question is still why? Do people not want to talk about this? Perhaps they think it may not affect change? Perhaps people are overworked and it is a time issue? Perhaps people are reacting to it in their own way (as I am with this blog post)?

I am not sure, but I think that it may be useful to consider this, as the implications for a world ever more in need of getting the changes needed to this higher education behemoth right is beyond compare with many social issues. With so much to discuss and explore and develop, why so little discussion about it (at least here)?

Doctoral Thesis (Dissertation) Research – Approved to Begin

I just received final ethical (institutional review board) approval to begin my thesis research!

After adding one sentence to address data encryption, I revised and resubmitted my Invitation to Participate  and Consent Form for my study, Navigating Liminality in Distance Education: The Experiences of Research and Professional Doctorate Learners. I am now ready to go, and expect to create a location for my research information here on my webpage, after which I will talk more specifically about what I hope to study and how I plan to do this.

If you are a doctoral student (or recently completed your doctorate), you just may be a potential participants for my research!  I may ask you to tell me about your experiences . . .