EditorialReport as inadecuate

Author: Gabriel Jacobs

Source: https://core.ac.uk/


Editorial Time for a change If a new appointment can be made before the next issue of ALT-J, this will be my final offering as Editor, which position I have held since the journal was born, with ALT, in 1993. Were I to follow custom and practice in the matter, I would take this singular opportunity to do a sentimental retrospective, highlighting milestones in the development of technology-aided teaching and learning over the six years of my editorship, and, in so doing, showing in the best possible light the extent to which the aims of ALT have been achieved.
I fear that such an approach would lead to irrefutable platitudes, and those who have read my editorials over the years (how few are they?) will be aware that I have never shunned controversy - indeed, I have been accused on several occasions of wilful and unjustified provocation.
Unsubstantiated as this accusation is, I would not wish my last editorial to break with its tradition.
In this final comment as Editor, therefore, I shall express a certain frustration. Graham Chesters, Jonathan Darby and I met in Oxford in 1992 and decided to found ALT. We met again a little later in York with (as I remember - apologies for any omissions) Neil Morgan and Graham Walker of BT, Peter Goodyear, Nick Hammond, Mike Kibby and Ray McAleese, in order to determine how we might proceed.
Had any of us at that meeting been asked where learning technology would be six years hence, I suspect that the prevailing prediction would have been one of an extensive take-up within higher education. The Internet as we know it today did not exist, nor were CD-ROM drives or tens of Megabytes of RAM the norm, but digital technology was progressing with such rapidity that some of us could almost contemplate a HAL, the super-computer in the 1960s film 2001: A Space Odyssey, up and running in our universities before the new millennium. How would universities be able to resist the marvels which learning technology would soon be able to deliver, particularly in view of the massification of higher education combined with little or no prospect of significant increases in teaching staff? The reality is that take-up has not been as widespread as we imagined it would be - not by a long way - and neither the hardware nor the courseware are fully able to match user2 ALT-] Volume 6 Number 2 expectations.
Why? The two facts are self-evidently closely linked, but for the sake of clarity I will deal with them separately. Those who met in York ....

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