Placing the field of ed tech

Laura Czerniewicz (2008) in her paper, Distinguishing the Field of Educational Technology, outlines the field of educational technology as emerging and viewed differently from a scholarly and professional perspective. Foremost, the state of the field is questioned and wondered if it is coherent and unified, with some commenting the field is fragmented. She also offers that educational technology is used synonymously and erroneously with instructional technology and instructional design.

As a profession is it is relatively new with emerging professions in educational institutes, as an example. Yet, its scholarly role is questioned. For instance, it is stated “stability, recognition and boundaries are therefore generally associated with the concept of a discipline. Given that these are still so contested, it is surprising that educational technology seems more often referred to as a field than as a discipline” (p.174). However, Merrill refers to instructional design as a scientific discipline. What is more, “educational technology draws on so many disciplines, the community of educational technologists may only be familiar with “feeder disciplines”, each of which is own theoretical domain, and indeed these outlooks may be incommensurable” (Jones, 2004 as cited by Czerniewicz, p. 174). Therefore, Reigeluth and Carr-Chelman (2006) suggest that instructional theory needs more consistent terminology and common knowledge base, which would help future developments. More important, this field needs to be grounded in theory.

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