One of my job titles is Lector in Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL). I struggle with this title, I don’t think I’ve ever actually been told what TEL is, I assume it is similar, or the same as wider HE community would call a “Learning Technologist”, but I don’t know what that is either. Increasingly I struggle when talking to staff in similarly named roles, it doesn’t feel like we are talking about the same thing. I get aggerated in conversations with them – both with those who really don’t get what I am saying (because I don’t feel we are talking about the same thing?) and those that do (because I finally have an outlet to whine about the former?).
In a previous life at another University, I felt I had a good grasp of what TEL/LT was, in fact, for quite a while, if somebody has asked: “what is TEL?” I could have just started to reel off the old working groups that I would participate in: accessibility, achievement information, architecture and modelling, assessment, competencies, curriculum design, horizon scanning, learning platforms, OER, portfolio, relationship management, resource management, semantic technologies, and standards. I don’t feel I could do that now – I’m not saying that people are no longer interested in those things, but it doesn’t seem to sum up the role anymore. Everyone I meet wants to talk about content, the creation of content, the quality of content, how people would find content and importantly how students can be assessed using content.
I have problems with content, HE isn’t a fit home for its creation, we can’t keep up with the industrial production of it, and why would we want to? As education becomes another industrialised service agency, we fail individual needs.
I do know that I have always struggled with the difference in roles between teacher and learner, perhaps I find the sectors obsession with becoming kings of content creation just another way to enshrine these roles. I’ve written this very post trying to describe WTF I think Learning Technology is many times, and at the core of the posts are always the problems the way we think about the relationships between teacher and learner and the role of assessment.
For now, I’ve given up writing this post, but I have found a post that does a good job of describing what I think Learning Technology is, so I am going to post a link to that instead, think about it for a while and try again.
Here is the link: Weird, beautiful and experiment things to be creative in.