If you are engaged in any sort of inquiry into the use of technology in education (whether a student, research, instructor, etc), the following recommendation cannot be emphasized enough:

“Given the increasingly complex role that technology now plays in education and the growing need for clarity around what technology can and cannot do to improve learner success, it is critical that the research we do addresses real-world educational needs and is disseminated in a way that can meaningfully inform design practice. It is, therefore, becoming increasingly clear that the field’s major outlets for disseminating our scholarship should be organized around the problems we are trying to address (flagging learner engagement, poor teaching, rising costs of education, lack of accessibility) rather than the things we are using to solve those problems (learning analytics, online learning, gamification, 3D printing, and the like).”

In short: study problems, not things.

The quote comes from the call of proposals for AECT’s latest Handbook of Research in Educational Communications and Technology.