27Towards a Research Agenda for Educational Technology Research

Paul A. Kirschner and Liesbeth Kester

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to heaven, we were all going direct the other way.

(A Tale of Two Cities, Charles Dickens)

27.1 Introduction

One might want to call this chapter “A Tale of Two Cities,” and for two reasons. The first reason is that the term “educational technology” has two completely different meanings and as such can be seen as two different cities. The first meaning relates to the use of different media and modalities for teaching and learning. In this sense, teachers and educational designers make use of different educational technologies in different teaching and learning situations to achieve different ends. The technologies that they use can be as pedestrian or common-place as books, chalk boards, and/or the teacher’s voice or as modern/cutting-edge as augmented reality and/or holographic caves. The second meaning relates to the task of instructional design. In his long career, the first author once had the job title of educational technologist. In that function, it was his job to design learning materials and learning situations/environments ...

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