On the Ground as an Educational Technologist in Higher Education – 2022

I’ve been an Educational Technologist since 2016 – I began my journey before the Covid-19 pandemic was front and center of our lives (and still is). During this time I got married, finished a 2nd master’s degree bought a house and adopted two new cats from my local shelter.

I’ve been thinking a bit about what has structurally changed in my work and what I think about through my work as a technologist (which to be honest is a lot) during the last few years.

My job has continued to evolve and change – 2016-2020 I previously provided support for our makerspace – 3D printers and various technology tools I was adept in. Due to financial pressures, our institution(s) in New Hampshire merged IT departments across our system. I was furloughed and came back to a new position and new world. I’m now mainly working with tools and technologies that support learning on what I would describe as an everyday basis (LMS system, video conferencing, video recording, and web uploading) with some of the previous work I did (Plymouth Create/Website Creation/Pressbooks/running the print shop). With the familiarity of digital tools at an all-time high at our institutions, I’m wondering about development and change now that we’re maybe into the next steps in online technology in education.

When I think about the change and directions these systems are taking as we head deeper into 2022 these are the things I’m thinking a lot about.

  1. Automation/AI – UNH has tools like Gradescope that are improiving the grading process and leaving more opportunities for time efficieny, what of these tools is of the most use to faculty?
  2. Analytics – As we grow datasets to inform the tools we use and the work we do, what is the data we need to assess and hold onto and what can we let go of? (There is a lot out there and more analytics tools seem to be built every day!)
  3. Rethinking grading and Ungrading philosopies and how these systems jive (or don’t) with the virtual systems we have in place. Where will these philosophies go into the academy? I’m going to likely be teaching in the fall at a local university, so I’m thinking a lot about this as I head towards Fall 2022.
  4. Continuing to teach those looking for information – as systems constantly change – what needs to evolve in how we as a team present information?

Just some quick thoughts for 2022. What have you thought about in your Educational Technology position now that maybe you’ve had a second to breathe and reflect (I see you – I hear you, technologists!)