Be my colleague? Open position: Director of Online Programs in Learning Technologies

We (the Learning Technologies degree program at the University of Minnesota – Twin cities) are growing, and are currently seeking a full-time (12-months) Director of Online Programs in Learning Technologies to join us! Flexible work arrangements may include flexibility in schedule and/or work location; 100% remote candidates will be considered.  View the position description and details for guidance on how to apply

Join us?

Special issue now available: Higher Education Futures at the intersection of justice, hope, and educational technology

A few months back, colleagues and I began editing a special issue focused on Higher Education Futures at the intersection of justice, hope, and educational technology (original call for proposals) for the International Journal of Educational Technology in Higher Education. The issue is now published and the seven papers included in this issue are available open access on the journal website. I am also linking to them below.


  1. Higher education futures at the intersection of justice, hope, and educational technology

    Our societies face enormous and intertwined economic, demographic, political, ecological, and social challenges. In this environment of uncertainty…we invited prospective authors to reimagine the futures of higher education, and to contribute scholarship that speculates what higher education at the intersection of justice, hope, and educational technology could look like.

    Authors:George Veletsianos, Shandell Houlden, Jen Ross, Sakinah Alhadad and Camille Dickson-Deane

    Citation:International Journal of Educational Technology in Higher Education 2024 21:43
  2. Speculative futures for higher education

    This paper uses speculative methods as a way of imagining futures for higher education in open, non-predictive ways. The complexity and ‘unknowability’ of the highly technologised, environmentally damaged and …

    Authors:Sian Bayne and Jen Ross
    Citation:International Journal of Educational Technology in Higher Education 2024 21:39
  3. Hopeful futures for refugees in higher education: cultivation, activation, and technology

    This paper discusses hopeful futures for higher education and the use of technology in realising those futures through the lens of refugee education in Uganda. Through an analysis of qualitative research done …

    Authors:Michael Gallagher, Sandra Nanyunja, Martha Akello, Apollo Mulondo and Juan-Jose Miranda
    Citation:International Journal of Educational Technology in Higher Education 2024 21:38
  4. EdTechnica: a vision of an educational publishing community of practice that is accessible, flexible, and just

    Open Educational Resources (OER) and Open Educational Practices (OEP) have the potential to transform and positively impact individuals, institutions, and society. As educators, we have a unique responsibility…

    Authors:Bohdana Allman, Royce Kimmons, Camille Dickson-Deane, Aras Bozkurt, Melissa Warr, Jill Stefaniak, Monalisa Dash and Fanny Eliza Bondah
    Citation:International Journal of Educational Technology in Higher Education 2024 21:37
  5. Methods for dreaming about and reimagining digital education

    Utilising emancipatory approaches to educational technology in higher education allows welcoming creative and artistic modes of inquiry. This article presents two methods, a virtual makerspace and a guided fantasy story that were…

    Authors:Kathrin Otrel-Cass, Eamon Costello, Niels Erik Ruan Lyngdorf and Iris Mendel
    Citation:International Journal of Educational Technology in Higher Education 2024 21:31
  6. (No) Hope for the future? A design agenda for rewidening and rewilding higher education with utopian imagination

    This article argues for exploring, connecting, and applying utopian imagination, speculative design, and planetary thinking as a way forward for higher education to reimagine and move towards more hopeful plan…

    Authors:Rikke Toft Nørgård and Kim Holflod
    Citation:International Journal of Educational Technology in Higher Education 2024 21:30
  7. Who speaks for the university? Social fiction as a lens for reimagining higher education futures

    This paper combines social fiction and academic analysis to envision hopeful futures for higher education. At the heart of the exploration is Phoebe Wagner’s speculative fiction piece, University, Speaking, which…

    Authors:Punya Mishra, Nicole Oster and Phoebe Wagner
    Citation:International Journal of Educational Technology in Higher Education 2024 21:24
  8. Generative AI and re-weaving a pedagogical horizon of social possibility

    This article situates the potential for intellectual work to be renewed through an enriched engagement with the relationship between indigenous protocols and artificial intelligence (AI). It situates this through a dialectical storytelling of the contradictions that emerge from the relationships between humans and capitalist technologies, played out within higher education…

    Authors:Richard Hall
    Citation:International Journal of Educational Technology in Higher Education 2024 21:12

AI in the (greek-speaking) classroom

In May, I contributed to a professional development workshop for Greek teachers organized by Greece’s Institute of Educational Policy, focused on AI in the classroom. Alfavita produced a summary, and I am sharing some segments from it below.

Η εκπαιδευτική Νοημοσύνη στην Τάξη – 750 συμμετοχές στο πρώτο Διαδικτυακό Στρογγυλό Τραπέζι

Μεγάλος αριθμός συμμετεχόντων/χουσών από την εκπαιδευτική και όχι μόνο κοινότητα συνδέθηκαν διαδικτυακά για να συμμετάσχουν στην ημερίδα με τίτλο: «Η Εκπαιδευτική Νοημοσύνη στην Τάξη. Η Τάξη της Τεχνητής Νοημοσύνης. Πρώτο Διαδικτυακό Στρογγυλό Τραπέζι» που πραγματοποιήθηκε την Παρασκευή 17 Μαΐου 2024.

Περίπου 750 άτομα ήταν εγγεγραμμένα και συνδεδεμένα στην πλατφόρμα την ημέρα της εκδήλωσης, ενώ πάνω από 1.400 προβολές της ημερίδας έχουν καταγραφεί ήδη στο κανάλι του ΙΕΠ στο YouTube. Η εκδήλωση είναι διαθέσιμη προς προβολή στο

A screenshot of a Microsoft teams meeting showing eight participants, including Γιώργος Βελετσιάνος, Καθηγητής στο University of Minnesota, Ελένη Μαγγίνα, Καθηγήτρια στο University College Dublin, Μανώλης Μαυρίκης, Καθηγητής στο University College London, Χρυστάλλα Μουζά, Καθηγήτρια στο University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign,  Βάλια Καϊμάκη, Επίκουρη Καθηγήτρια στο Ιόνιο Πανεπιστήμιο και Δημοσιογράφος, Κίμων Δρακόπουλος.

AI in the classroom

Η Ημερίδα αποτέλεσε την πρώτη εκδήλωση μιας σειράς δράσεων διαλόγου για την Τεχνητή Νοημοσύνη στην Εκπαίδευση, που υλοποιείται σε συνεργασία με το Ίδρυμα Ωνάση και συμμετείχαν τέσσερις Έλληνες και Κύπριοι Ακαδημαϊκοί που ζουν και εργάζονται στο εξωτερικό και βρίσκονται στην αιχμή της επιστημονικής έρευνας για την εφαρμογή της Τεχνητής Νοημοσύνης στην Εκπαίδευση:

Γιώργος Βελετσιάνος, Καθηγητής στο University of Minnesota (

Ελένη Μαγγίνα, Καθηγήτρια στο University College Dublin (

Μανώλης Μαυρίκης, Καθηγητές στο University College London (

Χρυστάλλα Μουζά, Καθηγήτρια στο University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (

Το διαδικτυακό Στρογγυλό Τραπέζι συντόνισε η Βάλια Καϊμάκη, Επίκουρη Καθηγήτρια στο Ιόνιο Πανεπιστήμιο και Δημοσιογράφος (

Παρέμβαση εκ μέρους της Συμβουλευτικής Επιτροπής Υψηλού Επιπέδου για την Τεχνητή Νοημοσύνη, η οποία λειτουργεί υπό τον Πρωθυπουργό, πραγματοποίησε το μέλος της κύριος Κίμων Δρακόπουλος (, Καθηγητής στην Επιστήμη των Δεδομένων και Λειτουργιών στο Πανεπιστήμιο της Ν. Καλιφόρνια, ο οποίος αναφέρθηκε στις τελευταίες εξελίξεις στο χώρο της Τεχνητής Νοημοσύνης και στην αξία των ανθρωπιστικών επιστημών για τη συνδιαμόρφωση των εξελίξεων αυτών. Ο κ. Δρακόπουλος τόνισε την αξία ανάπτυξης δεξιοτήτων κριτικής σκέψης για τους εκπαιδευόμενους, ενώ επεσήμανε τις προκλήσεις της ΤΝ για την ιδιωτικότητα, την ασφάλεια των δεδομένων, την μεροληψία των αλγορίθμων, το ψηφιακό χάσμα που μπορεί να δημιουργηθεί σε περιοχές με γεωγραφικές ιδιαιτερότητες όπως είναι η Ελλάδα, την ανάγκη διαρκούς ενημέρωσης και επιμόρφωσης της εκπαιδευτικής κοινότητας σε θέματα ΤΝ, αλλά και θέματα που έχουν να κάνουν με την ψυχική υγεία των εκπαιδευόμενων, όπως εξαρτήσεις από την ψηφιακή τεχνολογία και την κοινωνική απομόνωση.

Αντικείμενο της εκδήλωσης ήταν οι τρέχουσες εξελίξεις και οι μελλοντικές προοπτικές της ΤΝ στον εκπαιδευτικό τομέα, κυρίως στο διεθνή χώρο. Οι τοποθετήσεις κάλυψαν ένα ευρύ φάσμα θεμάτων, από καινοτόμες εκπαιδευτικές μεθόδους έως τα επιτακτικά ηθικά διλήμματα που προκύπτουν από τη χρήση της ΤΝ στην εκπαίδευση και όχι μόνο. Τονίστηκαν οι μετασχηματιστικές δυνατότητες της εκπαιδευτικής τεχνολογίας ΤΝ, η οποία φέρνει επανάσταση στον τρόπο με τον οποίο οι μαθητές μαθαίνουν και οι εκπαιδευτικοί διδάσκουν. Οι πλατφόρμες προσαρμοστικής μάθησης και τα ευφυή συστήματα διδασκαλίας εξατομικεύουν την εκπαίδευση όσο ποτέ άλλοτε. Αυτές οι τεχνολογίες αξιολογούν τις εξατομικευμένες ανάγκες των μαθητών σε πραγματικό χρόνο, προσαρμόζοντας το περιεχόμενο για τη βελτιστοποίηση των μαθησιακών αποτελεσμάτων. Έγινε αναφορά σε πληθώρα περιπτώσεων, δυνατοτήτων και ψηφιακών συστημάτων (tutoring systems, διερευνητικά περιβάλλοντα μάθησης, chatbots, χρήση εικονικής και επαυξημένης πραγματικότητας, avatars κ.α) που μπορούν να βρουν εφαρμογή στην τάξη καθιστώντας τη μάθηση πιο προσιτή και ευχάριστη.

Εκτενής αναφορά όμως έγινε και σε ηθικά ζητήματα. Τονίστηκε η σημασία της προστασίας των δεδομένων, της διαφάνειας, της αλγοριθμικής δικαιοσύνης και της ηθικής χρήσης της ΤΝ σε εκπαιδευτικά περιβάλλοντα. Επισημάνθηκε η ανάγκη διασφάλισης της υπεύθυνης χρήσης της νέας τεχνολογίας, με ανθρωποκεντρική προσέγγιση, με τρόπους που βελτιώνουν την εκπαίδευση χωρίς να διακυβεύεται η ιδιωτικότητα, η συμπεριληπτικότητα και η ισότητα ευκαιριών.

Συζητήθηκαν επίσης, επιφυλάξεις των εκπαιδευτικών για τον μελλοντικό τους ρόλο. Η ΤΝ θα πρέπει να ενισχύσει και όχι να αντικαταστήσει τους εκπαιδευτικούς. Οι εκπαιδευτικοί είναι αναντικατάστατοι ως προς την ικανότητά τους να εμπνέουν και να καθοδηγούν. Η ΤΝ μπορεί να κάνει το μάθημα πιο ζωντανό, να αναλάβει καθήκοντα ρουτίνας, επιτρέποντας στους εκπαιδευτικούς να επικεντρωθούν περισσότερο στην προώθηση της κριτικής σκέψης και της δημιουργικότητας. Έγινε επίσης, αναφορά στη διαδικασία αξιολόγησης του μαθητή (ζητήματα αντιγραφής ή λογοκλοπής).

Η μεγάλη συμμετοχή των εκπαιδευτικών αναδεικνύει το έντονο ενδιαφέρον της εκπαιδευτικής κοινότητας, για τη διερεύνηση των διαδικασιών αξιοποίησης των σύγχρονων τεχνολογιών στην εκπαιδευτική διαδικασία και το ενδιαφέρον για την επαγγελματική εξέλιξη των εκπαιδευτικών μας.

Two weeks left to contribute to the 2024 Spring Pan-Canadian Digital Learning Survey

The invitation below is from the good folks at that Canadian Digital Learning Research Association (Disclosure: I’m a member of CDLRA and prior to leaving Canada, I was member of the board of directors).


The CDLRA’s Spring Pan-Canadian Digital Learning Survey is open until May 31st.

The purpose of the 2024 Pan-Canadian Digital Learning Survey is to explore critical issues in digital learning and to assess the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on digital learning at publicly funded post-secondary institutions in Canada. The survey will ask you to share your personal perspective and will take approximately 10 minutes to complete. The primary objective of the research is to provide institutional leaders and key interest groups in Canadian higher education with valuable information as they develop institutional strategies.

If you work at a post-secondary institution in Canada, you are eligible to take the survey.

Click here to participate in the survey now!

Topics covered in the 2024 Spring Survey include digital learning trends (including Generative AI), attitudes and preferences toward technology, challenges related to digital learning, and feelings about the future. You do not need to be an expert in digital learning to participate. Whatever your experience level with technology may be, we want to hear from you!

More information about the project and ethics approval is available here.

New publication: How do Canadian Faculty Members Imagine Future Teaching and Learning Modalities?

What do future learning environments look like? Is online learning “the new normal?” Or, are we back to the “old normal?” What does the “new normal” look like? Never mind concepts of “normal,”… what do learners and faculty imagine future learning environments, technologies, and modalities looking like? Colleagues and I completed and are planning a series of studies around these ideas, bringing together threads in our research that examines online learning, emerging technologies, challenges facing higher education, and speculative methods. We recently published one of these and I am sharing the pre-print below.

When I prompted ChatGPT to generate an image depicting this paper it generated the image below. This image provides an interesting juxtaposition to our findings, because our findings highlight the relative persistence of the status quo and reveal a lack of more radical futures.

Here’s the paper: Veletsianos, G., Johnson, N., & Houlden, S. (2024). How do Canadian Faculty Members Imagine Future Teaching and Learning Modalities? Educational Technology Research & Development, 72(3), 1851 – 1868.. The final version is available at but here is a public pre-print version.


This study, originally prompted by the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on educational practices, examined Canadian faculty members’ expectations of teaching and learning modalities in the year 2026. Employing a speculative methodology and thematic analysis, interview responses of 34 faculty members led to the construction of three hypothetical scenarios for future teaching and learning modalities: a hybrid work model, a high tech and flexible learning model, and a pre-pandemic status quo model. In contrast to radical education futures described in the literature, the findings do not depart significantly from dominant modes of teaching and learning. Nevertheless, these findings offer insights into the expectations that Canadian faculty members have with respect to future teaching and learning modalities, the contextual issues and concerns that they face, the use of speculative methodologies in educational technology research, and the potential impacts remote learning trends have on the future of education in Canada.

OpEd: 5 questions schools and universities should ask before they purchase AI tech products

I wrote the op ed below for The Conversation and I am republishing it here for posterity, under their Creative Commons license. Here’s the original article.


5 questions schools and universities should ask before they purchase AI tech products

Every few years, an emerging technology shows up at the doorstep of schools and universities promising to transform education. The most recent? Technologies and apps that include or are powered by generative artificial intelligence, also known as GenAI.

These technologies are sold on the potential they hold for education. For example, Khan Academy’s founder opened his 2023 Ted Talk by arguing that “we’re at the cusp of using AI for probably the biggest positive transformation that education has ever seen.”

‘How AI Could Save (Not Destroy) Education’

As optimistic as these visions of the future may be, the realities of educational technology over the past few decades have not lived up to their promises. Rigorous investigations of technology after technology – from mechanical machines to computers, from mobile devices to massive open online courses, or MOOCs – have identified the ongoing failures of technology to transform education.

Yet, educational technology evangelists forget, remain unaware or simply do not care. Or they may be overly optimistic that the next new technology will be different than before.

When vendors and startups pitch their AI-powered products to schools and universities, educators, administrators, parents, taxpayers and others ought to be asking questions guided by past lessons before making purchasing decisions.

As a longtime researcher who examines new technology in education, here are five questions I believe should be answered before school officials purchase any technology, app or platform that relies on AI.

1. Which educational problem does the product solve?

One of the most important questions that educators ought to be asking is whether the technology makes a real difference in the lives of learners and teachers. Is the technology a solution to a specific problem or is it a solution in search of a problem?

To make this concrete, consider the following: Imagine procuring a product that uses GenAI to answer course-related questions. Is this product solving an identified need, or is it being introduced to the environment simply because it can now provide this function? To answer such questions, schools and universities ought to conduct needs analyses, which can help them identify their most pressing concerns.

2. Is there evidence that a product works?

Compelling evidence of the effect of GenAI products on educational outcomes does not yet exist. This leads some researchers to encourage education policymakers to put off buying products until such evidence arises. Others suggest relying on whether the product’s design is grounded in foundational research.

Unfortunately, a central source for product information and evaluation does not exist, which means that the onus of assessing products falls on the consumer. My recommendation is to consider a pre-GenAI recommendation: Ask vendors to provide independent and third-party studies of their products, but use multiple means for assessing the effectiveness of a product. This includes reports from peers and primary evidence.

Do not settle for reports that describe the potential benefits of GenAI – what you’re really after is what actually happens when the specific app or tool is used by teachers and students on the ground. Be on the lookout for unsubstantiated claims.

3. Did educators and students help develop the product?

Oftentimes, there is a “divide between what entrepreneurs build and educators need.” This leads to products divorced from the realities of teaching and learning.

For example, one shortcoming of the One Laptop Per Child program – an ambitious program that sought to put small, cheap but sturdy laptops in the hands of children from families of lesser means – is that the laptops were designed for idealized younger versions of the developers themselves, not so much the children who were actually using them.

Some researchers have recognized this divide and have developed initiatives in which entrepreneurs and educators work together to improve educational technology products.

Questions to ask vendors might be: In what ways were educators and learners included? How did their input influence the final product? What were their major concerns and how were those concerns addressed? Were they representative of the various groups of students who might use these tools, including in terms of age, gender, race, ethnicity and socioeconomic background?

4. What educational beliefs shape this product?

Educational technology is rarely neutral. It is designed by people, and people have beliefs, experiences, ideologies and biases that shape the technologies they develop.

It is important for educational technology products to support the kinds of learning environments that educators aspire for their students. Questions to ask include: What pedagogical principles guide this product? What particular kinds of learning does it support or discourage? You do not need to settle for generalities, such as a theory of learning or cognition.

5. Does the product level the playing field?

Finally, people ought to ask how a product addresses educational inequities. Is this technology going to help reduce the learning gaps between different groups of learners? Or is it one that aids some learners – often those who are already successful or privileged – but not others? Is it adopting an asset-based or a deficit-based approach to addressing inequities?

Educational technology vendors and startups may not have answers to all of these questions. But they should still be asked and considered. Answers could lead to improved products.The Conversation


more on erasure and edtech

Last week I wrote a post on erasure and edtech, and this morning I saw that Stephen Downes has replied.

He writes that he “can’t verify whether Audrey Watters ever wrote this, because a Google search doesn’t turn it up.” Fair. I added a link to the original post, but here it is, as well.

Stephen also writes that the Woolf whitepaper discussed didn’t actually vanish, as he can find a copy through the Internet archive. My original post included a link to a copy (second paragraph here, linked from the original), so as to be clear that the whitepaper isn’t gone as in “no one can ever find it.” It vanished as in: “it’s no longer prominent, visible, accessible, and readily available.” And certainly, Internet sleuthing, given time, effort, skill, and some knowledge about the thing you’re looking for may yield evidence of it, though your mileage might vary.

One way to read “vanish” is to do what Stephen does, which is to zoom in and ask a literal question: Is the paper available somewhere? Another way is to zoom out, and ask: Have there been attempts to erase, rewrite, and reframe histories of edtech (e.g., through practices like removing references and ignoring critiques)? That’s how I understand erasure to work.

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