Educational Technology & Society 1(1) 1998
ISSN 1436-4522

Educational Technology & Society

The journal of the International Forum of Educational Technology & Society (IFETS)

In recent years we have witnessed the emergence of new, powerful and continuously improving communication technologies, with the computer as its front end. The inter-activity and the inter-connectivity offered by these technologies promise to have an unprecedented impact on Education - to the extent that we can now talk of Educational Technology as a discipline in its own right, combining the lessons learnt in the diverse fields of ‘Artificial Intelligence’, ‘Educational Psychology’, ‘Educational Sociology’, and not the least, ‘Educational Management’.

In particular, the Web provides not only the means to transmit across vast distances but also to share the creative activities. It was to highlight this inter-connectivity that the document stating the forum’s rationale mentions, ‘the stand-alone and self-contained approach in the design and implementation of educational technology is rapidly coming to an end. In the future, educational technology resources will be integrated, requiring that the traditional module based focus is replaced with a design approach supporting a community of modules that are selectively integrated by a community of teachers for various courses to suit a community of learners.

While there is a strong case for pursuing the quest for efficiency in the educational processes, the social objectives of education cannot be set aside. However, it appears that efficient and effective methods of attaining the social goals of a better educated and well informed citizens and the role Educational Technology can play in it have not been explored significantly. The forum strives to provide a public platform where the artificial intelligence (AI) community and educators (teachers, academic managers, educational policy makers) can discuss their own perspectives to enrich the budding field of Educational Technology.

The response so far has been tremendous. IFETS now has a membership list exceeding 700 people from diverse backgrounds spanning more than 20 countries. The forum aims to publish a ‘notionally’ quarterly journal to record the main points of discussion in both the formal and informal discussions, report on implementation projects, present invited viewpoints and perspectives from experts in diverse fields and also to encourage peer-reviewed articles providing a more detailed treatment of the various aspects of Educational Technology, its objectives and its contexts. ‘Educational Technology and Society’ is therefore meant to be the mouth piece of the forum’s very diverse membership and each group is strongly encouraged to make their voice heard. Through dialogue and specialisation, let us maintain ‘unity within diversity’.

It is gratifying to record the support of the many stalwarts within their own fields and the time and effort they have kindly made available for the forum’s activities. Those who have not found it possible to take on on-going roles due to time and work pressure, have nevertheless been kind to provide one off assistance and advise.

Ashok Patel
Reinhard Oppermann
Editors - ET&S