A while ago I blogged about how many people I work with in the field of educational technology that have philosophy-related backgrounds. Recently I found that three women that I’ve worked with have a shared disciplinary background too: Naomi Korn, Lorna Campbell and Alicia Wise all started out as archaeologists.

It was ALT-C week, a big gathering of folk working in the meeting point of technology and education. I couldn’t resist a quick survey.

I asked:

  • what is your disciplinary background? (this was a free text field)
  • how relevant/useful is it to ed tech?

At the time of writing, I’ve have 57 responses and the results are very interesting.

Firstly, disciplinary backgrounds …

I think there might be some interesting trends/patterns there.  I made this word cloud with wordle.net and used the first graphic it gave me, I haven’t tidied it up.

But more interesting were the responses to the other question. How many of these disciplines would you say are “relevant/useful” to ed tech?

Well … this looks pretty significant to me …

Hmmm!!! What I haven’t yet done is correlate the discipline to the relevance score. But at glance at the responses I would say that there isn’t a strong correlation between background and perceived relevance. So what does that mean? Is there something these disciplinary background have in common that contribute to their relevance? Or is ed tech a field that makes use of lots of disciplinary approaches? Or are people that gravitate towards ed tech people who are good at applying approaches across disciplines. Or? Or? …
The survey is still live at bit.ly/edtechdisc

If anyone is interested in getting the data to do some proper analysis please contact me!