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The widespread academic study of educational technology blossomed in the years following the development of the microprocessor. Of course, that is not to say that education was technology-free before the 1970s: the telephone, wireless radio, cinema, television, and mainframe computers had all in their time been heralded as educational marvels. But the scale of change, and the academic practices that responded to it, became of an entirely different order with the arrival of personal computers, promising as they did access for ordinary people to cheaper, faster, and smarter benefits of science and technology. From that historic moment onwards, it was increasingly common to hear educationalists, computer experts, journalists, and politicians proclaiming that these new technologies would transform the world of education, for better or for worse.
In the midst of this excitement (and, often, hype), Education and Technology researchers have, via empirical investigation and the development of novel or revised theoretical perspectives, explored the impact of new technologies on learning, pedagogy, design, policy, and the future of educational institutions. Psychology, Computer Science, Sociology, Pedagogical Studies, Communications, and Economics have all contributed to the domain, and connections have begun to be made to create a coherent body of thought and practice. But, while Education and Technology has stimulated a tremendous amount of published material, much of that work has been contaminated by political and commercial interests. Indeed, the dizzying quantity (and variable quality) of much research makes it difficult to discriminate the useful from the tendentious, superficial, and otiose. Now, as part of Routledge’s Major Themes in Education series, the editors of this new collection, two leading scholars from the University of Oxford’s Department of Education and the University’s Internet Institute, have undertaken the task of determining and bringing together in a one-stop resource the major works in Education and Technology.
With a full index, and thoughtful introductions, newly written by the editors,Education and Technology will be valued by scholars, students, and policy-makers as a vital and enduring resource.