A really useful book and and a useful approach to writing? #edtechbook


picture of the really useful ed tech book

The vast majority of my writing takes place here.  I’m not very good at formal academic publishing or book writing but I have co-authored with David Walker a chapter for the upcoming Really Useful #EdTechBook. #edtechbook, as it’s know in the twitter-sphere, is the brainchild of David Hopkins. David has not only persuaded a great line up of authors to contribute to the book,  but has also edited and is, as you read this, self publishing the book ready for launch on 28th January. If you can’t wait for the printed version, an CC licenced PDF version is available now.

One of the reasons I agreed to be involved in the project was the opportunity to co-author. I’ve known David for a while but we haven’t really done anything collaboratively so this was a really good opportunity to do something together.  Our brief was to write something not too academic, but something that as the title of the book alludes to was “useful”.  As well as keeping everyone on track David has also published interviews with all the authors. Our interview is available here.

I really enjoyed writing our chapter with David. It was good to be able to share our views on “stuff” to reflect on our experiences and careers to dates,  and to expand our thoughts about the development of learning technologists and their relationship with and to more traditional educational development/developers. It’s also good to have someone to keep you motivated and to meet deadlines. David also came up with the title of the chapter “Learning Technologist as Digital Pedagogue”, which I think was a stroke of brilliance and bound to provoke discussion by itself.

Our chapter really began with a series of questions we kept coming back to. We both wanted to get some evidence/validation of our views so we decided that we would write a blog post to see if we could get some initial feedback from our network. Our post “Is there something about a learning technologist?” got a great reaction. It was the highest viewed post of last year. More importantly it got 23 comments and a number of responses on twitter too.  In turn, we were able to use many of these responses in the chapter itself.  People were so generous with their time and insightful feedback. That in itself gave us even more motivation to write the chapter and also a sense that there was an appetite for our discussion.  Some of the early reviews have also mentioned our chapter which again has been great to see.

“As an Academic Developer in Higher Education, the book made me reflect on our professional relationship with Learning Technologists. Sue Beckingham in her chapter talks about the hybrid or blended professional for example, a mix between Learning Technologists and Academic Developer and the need to work together. David Walker and Sheila MacNeill take it one step further and raise an  important question about the future of Learning Technologists: “Is there something fundamental that distinguishes Learning Technologists from educational developers? Do we still need both roles?”  This question, I feel, could form the basis for further collaborative exploration between Learning Technologists, Academic Developers and the wider academic community.”,  Chrissi Nerantzi, Principal Lecturer in Academic CPD, Manchester Metropolitan University. 

More information about the book is available here.

9 thoughts on “A really useful book and and a useful approach to writing? #edtechbook”

  1. Hi Sheila, I really enjoyed reading and reviewing the whole book and found your contribution particularly interesting and relevant. It would be valuable to continue the conversation to develop joined-up thinking in this area. Thanks again for writing this with David.

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