A Draft Educational Technology Landscape Map

Educational Technology Landscape Map

I’ve been working on educational technology strategy and implementation for what feels like as long as I can remember but one thing I have always intended to do was to develop a visualisation of educational technologies in the form of a ‘map’. There are a number of such maps around already. Some of these are very good but they were never quite what I wanted. Specifically they focussed on the product rather than the tool or technology. So you would get a map that nearly always showed the LMS/VLE product at the centre with an eportfolio, some streaming media and some other technologies around the edge. I wanted something that showed the tools but also showed where they fitted in the landscape. Whether they were learning tools or management tools and whether the tools were focussed on the student or the staff member etc. I also wanted to get away from the LMS being at the centre of the tool map becuase the LMS is basically a collection of tools in one product that combine some management and some educational functionality. This isn’t because I am against the LMS as a concept but because I wanted to show that there are alternatives and that not everything needs to fit within an LMS.

I actually found the development of the map quite difficult when it came down to allocating tools to spaces in the landscape. Is the landscape I have drawn the correct one? Are the tools in the right places? Have I selected all of the educational technologies that should be there. Even as I type I realise I have missed what many would consider to be a big one. For this reason I have decided to put version 0.2 of the map up to public debate. The video below gives a brief overview and the original MS Visio file can be downloaded here. You can also click on the image at the top to see it as a full size gif image. It is released under a Creative Commons Attribution Share Alike V 3.0 license so you are welcome to use and reuse it as you see fit. Of course, if you do modify it, I’d be delighted if you’d let me know so that we can create something better between us.

P.S. Can you spot what my first glaring omission is?

6 Comments On “A Draft Educational Technology Landscape Map”

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention A Draft Educational Technology Landscape Map | Mark Smithers -- Topsy.com

  2. Hi Mark,

    Good post on a challenging topic. I’ve not got any magic bullets, but I do have a couple of other things to throw into the mix:

    1. Learning Content Management. Not sure how this could be represented other than as a ‘cloud’ hovering over theoretically all of the lecturer content – including metadata management, copyright management etc etc.
    2. Course management, although I’m not sure if this heads too far off to the left of this diagram into the realm of pure management rather than education – but then again there are a couple of things already on the LHS which could also fit into that category.
    3. Progress tracking. Again a mundane topic in contrast to all the cool ‘real’ educational stuff, but it could be argued that a student’s ability to self-manage their own goals and timetables is an integral part of the educational process. Could also argue the contrary depending on your viewpoint!

    Hope this helps, would like to hear what the missing ‘big one’ is!



    • Hi Mark,

      Many thanks for the reply. You’re absolutely right. I missed the LCMS which is a bit embarrassing as one of my teams has just taken over over technical ownership for our new LCMS.
      I agree about course management. Will see how I can fit it in. I had intended to include Progress tracking in the box called ‘Student Tracking’. I might re-word that.

      Thanks again for your input.



  3. Great map, Mark. I found it through Google my searching for “education technology landscape.”

    Have you seen anything similar for K-12?


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