Ateleological travels in a teleological world: Past and future journeys around ICTs in education

In my previous academic life, I never really saw the point of book chapters as a publication form. For a variety of reasons, however, my next phase in academia appears likely to involve an increasing number of book chapters. The need for the first such chapter has arisen this week and the first draft is due by February next year, which is a timeline to give me just a little pause for thought. (There is a chance that this book might end up as a special edition of a journal)

What’s you perception of book chapters as a form of academic publication? Am particularly interested in the view from the education field.

What follows is a first stab at an abstract for the book chapter. The title for the book/special edition is “Meanings for in and of education research”. The current working title for my contribution is the title to this post: “Ateleological travels in a teleological world: Past and future journeys around ICTs in education”.


The Australian Federal Government are just one of a gaggle of global stakeholders suggesting that Information and Communication Technologies are contributing to the creation a brave, new, digital world. Such a digital world is seen as being radically different to what has gone before and consequently demanding a radically different education system to prepare the next generation of learners. A task that is easier said than done. This chapter argues that the difficulties associated with this task arise because the meanings underpinning the design of education systems for the digital world are decidedly inappropriate and ill-suited for the nature of the digital world. The chapter draws upon 15+ years of research formulating an Information Systems Design Theory for emergent e-learning systems for universities to critically examine these commonly accepted meanings, suggest alternate and more appropriate meanings, and discuss the potential implications that these alternate meanings hold for the practice of education and education research.

The plan

The plan is that this chapter/paper will reflect on the primary focus of my research over recent years and encourage me to think of future research directions and approaches. Obviously it will draw on the PhD research and in particular the Ps Framework and the presentation I gave at EdMedia a couple of years ago. It will also draw on the presentation I gave analysing the Digital Education Revolution as part of my GDLT studies this year.

2 thoughts on “Ateleological travels in a teleological world: Past and future journeys around ICTs in education

  1. My perception of book chapters as a form of publication is that their value is probably highly variable. As with any other form of publication their value is likely to be linked to the extent to which they are read and used (cited) by others. Books from some publishers are so prohibitively expensive that it is hard to imagine that they are bought and used by many scholars. In other cases the publishers are obscure and the titles are liable to struggle for visibility. Journals are regular and indexed. Conferences have audiences so that there are at least a few people aware of the work and opportunities to connect with those who share interests. Chapters in books sometimes succeed but can easily disappear into obscurity.

    1. Thanks for your thoughts Peter. Not much disagreement from me.

      I have some concerns with publishers such as IGI who tend toward the example you set. One of the questions I’m going to have will be around whether not not a copy of the chapter can reside on my blog.

      Somewhat related, but a little different, is the idea of using the blog as the draft stage for the chapter. Various sections go up on the blog, perhaps not in final format for the chapter. Wondering if this has the potential to work around the invisible nature of the book chapter. Will see.

      Of course the other point with book chapters is that they can help tick the KPI boxes….the joys of academia

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