One lesson that has arisen from the spring of 2020 for educational technology professionals and the faculty and staff whose work gives ours purpose is (ostensibly) improved by ours is that no one individual has all of the expertise that is necessary for effective online or remote teaching and learning. While few will be surprised by this, the reasons are becoming clearer.
- Most teaching is an emergent property. Faculty can know their content. Educational technologists can know their systems. We cannot predict from these parts, however, how all will come together in the specifics of each section. Students, their technology, developing social situations, and new discoveries are all waiting to challenge what faculty and IT and edtech all think they know about their work and systems.
- IT systems change. Just as soon as we become comfortable with the interfaces we use; the publishers of the tools change them.
- We have so many options and tools… there is no way anyone can have expert knowledge of all of the platforms, extensions, add-ons, applications, operating systems, and configurations that are in use. This problem is even more difficult given the communication that happens. Connected educators have a steady stream of “you should try this” in their inboxes and feeds daily. They hear of great tools their colleagues in other places use, and they want to join the fun. I am not complaining about that phenomenon as it allows me to hear about these tools as well. It is important to know that your local “tech guru” may not be a guru of every system that exists.