Liked 25 Years of OU/Ed Tech – 2020: The Online Pivot by an author (

I know people like to say Ed Tech won’t save you, and that is a good antidote to the ed tech saviour hype, but in 2020 educational technologists really did save education (by which I don’t mean silicon valley profiteers, but the small teams within unis, colleges, schools, etc). People who were often buffeted around an institution, not treated with appropriate respect and under-resourced were suddenly called upon to keep the whole thing going. That’s a hell of a spotlight shift.

Bookmarked Digital mudlarking by mweller (

If you are an ed tech practitioner then, the sense is less of a excavation, and more one of hurried gathering. Ed tech practitioners operate like mudlarks, gathering artefacts that have been exposed by the last technology tide (see below reservations on this). These artefacts can be seen as nuggets of good practice, research or concepts that have application across different technology. Things like how to support learners at a distance, how to effectively encourage online dialogue, ethics of application, etc.

Martin Weller wonders about another edtech metaphor, this time of digital mudlarking.
Replied to 2019 blog review – The Ed Techie (

The thing I’ve been struggling with is that a lot of the bloggers I admire have effectively become very good ed tech journalists, writing very well researched, thoughtful essays. These are excellent, but working in academia, blogging performs a different function for me – I write research papers and books which is the place for the carefully argued work. My blog felt like an antidote to that in a way – a place to put out half baked ideas and quick posts that are knocked off in-between other things.

Thank you Martin for sharing your open therapy session. It has been an interesting year in regards to the evolution of blogging and the changes in regards to the posts coming through my feeds.
Liked Confessions of an audiobook addict – The Ed Techie (

The prevalence of wifi, smart phones and unobtrusive earphones, combined with abundance of audio content in audiobooks and podcasts, makes me feel that we are entering a similar combined oral/literacy phase socially and moving away from a largely literate dominated one. Given the number of other tasks that only require partial attention (from playing Candy Crush to having your dad talk to you), the opportunity for orality to become prominent is present. And I for one, welcome our new audio-overlords.

Bookmarked 25 Years of EdTech: 2019 – Micro-credentials – The Ed Techie (

In short, micro-credentials represent the latest chapter in the attempt to make the shape of higher education more amorphous and flexible. In this, I am in favour of them, because if you want education to be inclusive and diverse then it needs to come in various formats to meet those needs. Whether micro-credentials are the means to realise that, or another attempt to bend higher ed to mythical needs of employers which turn out to be ill-defined and unwanted, remains to be seen.

Martin Weller continues his history of edtech series discussing the trend towards micro-credentials in higher education. One of the points that really stood out is the idea of credentials as validation of online learning:

Micro-credentials were the culmination of several ed tech developments, but there is also a sense in that they are driven by these very developments in order to validate themselves.

Bookmarked Learning the rules of predicting the future – The Ed Techie by Martin Weller (

In short, the future will have much resonance with the present, but it will be one where the relationship between people and increasingly powerful technology is one that is constantly examined and negotiated. I would not expect any grand revolution in the higher education space, the much quoted concept of disruption is almost entirely absent and inappropriate in this space. So don’t expect the type of future often predicted by educational technology entrepreneurs, with all existing universities made redundant by a new technology centric model. Instead we see a continual model of innovation, testing, adaption and revisiting within the constraints of an existing, and robust system.

Martin Weller responds to a request to predict the future of higher ed by identifying four rules:

  1. Very little changes, while simultaneously everything changes.
  2. Change is rarely about the technology.
  3. Appreciate the historical amnesia in much of educational technology.
  4. Technology is not ethically or politically neutral.

Alongside the work of Gary Stager and Audrey Watters, this is a useful provocation to think about the past, present and future of education and technology.

Bookmarked Twenty Years of Edtech (

What has changed, what remains the same, and what general patterns can be discerned from the past twenty years in the fast-changing field of edtech?

Martin Weller looks back at twenty years of EdTech, highlighting the various moments that have stood out across the journey. This brings together many of the pieces that he has written for his 25 years of EdTech series that he has written to celebrate 25 years of ALT. As he points out in his introduction, we are not very good at looking back. This post then offers an opportunity to stop and do so in a structured manner. Another interesting take on history is Ben Francis’ post on the Firefox OS.
Liked 25 Years of EdTech – 2003: Blogs by mweller (

If I had a desert island EdTech, it would be blogging, and that is not just in a nostalgic sense. No other educational technology has continued to develop, as the proliferation of WordPress sites attests, and also remain so full of potential. I’ve waxed lyrical about academic blogging many times before, but for almost every ed tech that comes along, I find myself thinking that a blog version would be better: e-portfolios, VLEs, MOOCs, OERs, social networks.