In comparative terms, the transition from stand-alone to networked technologies was fairly rapid. The shift happened in the mid 1990s and it certainly took many by surprise. We had all become comfortable with the affordances of personal computers, especially content provisionality where editing content was easy and you could save your work to return to later. Before networked computers, we transferred media and content to other systems using disks, and we printed out our work for physical mailing to recipients. In the 80s, the graphics capability of our personal computers was limited, but we had a choice between the IBM style PCs and the Apple computers.

Here are five of the most important things I have learnt from my 40 years working in educational technology:

Technology doesn't improve teaching. If you are a poor teacher, no amount of technology will turn you into a good one.  If you are a good teacher, you can teach well in any context, either with or without technology.  If you want to make an impact, use technology appropriately in a way that enhances, extends and enriches the learning experience.
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When I first started working in educational technology 40 years ago, the discipline was very new and none of us really knew where we were headed with it, but it was advancing rapidly. You could say we were pioneers in the field of technology supported learning. There certainly weren't many of us around. The technology we used was fairly simple, and we were still years away from networked computers, personal technologies and the Web.

I've just celebrated 40 years working in educational technology. I remember arriving on a chilly, grey morning in January 1976 outside a large teacher training college on the edge of Plymouth. As I gazed up at the concrete and glass of the buildings, I wondered exactly what I was getting myself into. I had trained as a photographer and graphic designer over the previous two years and I knew that this would be part of the job.

As you might expect, I encourage my students to blog regularly to support their learning. I have written extensively on the benefits of academic blogging, but perhaps the two most important positive outcomes are personal reflection and public dialogue. The former is self explanatory, allowing students to crystallise their thinking and articulate themselves in a concrete form.
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In a recent blog post, Antonio Teixera, President of EDEN wrote: "By just adding 21st century technologies to 20th century teaching practices we’ll only be diluting the effectiveness of teaching." 

He's right. We can't simply introduce new technologies into conservative environments such as schools and universities and then expect them to have positive impact. We will fail if we attempt to use new tools while we teach in the same the old ways.
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Today at 8pm GMT, the second #EDENchat of 2016 will be live on Twitter. Follow the hashtag and join in the chat as we discuss issues around open learning and open scholarship. Questions will include:

1) Your own experiences of being an open scholar.
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