Constructing categories for educational technology professionals
David James Woo, University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong
This literature review highlights the tension between cohesiveness and incoherence in operationalizing categories of educational technology professionals. Literature on learning technologists, educational technologists, e-learning technologists, information and communications technology coordinators and information technology coordinators was analyzed through a multilevel model of comparative education to address to what degree these educational technology professionals are similar units of analysis. Cohesiveness and incoherence within and between these categories by geographical and organizational levels, non-locational demographic groups and aspects of education and society was teased out. A degree of cohesiveness in operationalizing educational technology professionals was illustrated when the categories were framed as technologists and technology coordinators. However, ambiguity and incoherence were demonstrated particularly when attempting to locate an educational technology professional at a precise intersection of geographical and organizational levels, non-locational demographic groups and aspects of education and society.
Researchers and practitioners can operationalize new categories of educational technology professionals by addressing ambiguity and incoherence within these educational technology professional categories. The review raises methodological implications and the need to establish valid constructs. It also raises the question of whether such categorization is necessary and worthwhile in an age of technological and professional change.
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