A critical look at educational technology from a distance education perspective

Terry Anderson, Pablo Rivera-Vargas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Citations (Scopus)


This article focuses on educational technology as applied in the context of programs and institutions that offer completely distance education courses. All education in the 21st century is digital education in that the use of networking, text and image creation and editing and search and retrieval of information punctuates the life of almost every teacher and student. However, the context of distance education - where all the interactions are mediated, creates a unique and heightened context of digitalization. This paper focuses on two questions: (1) What aspects have not been completely satisfactory in the transit and transformation that education has undergone, from its more traditional, campus-based conception, towards its new configuration marked by the continuous use of digital technologies and environments? (2) What are the future challenges that distance education must deal with to support sustainability of this teaching model? From a theoretical and interpretative analysis, based on the review of relevant articles and documents on distance education, some critical dimensions (limitations, shortcomings and future challenges) the use of digital technologies in distance education is identified and subsequently analyzed. These dimensions evidence how the initial (sometimes excessive) promises of digital technologies in distance education has not (yet) been fully reflected in reality.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)208-229
Number of pages22
JournalDigital Education Review
Issue number37
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2020


  • Distance education
  • Educational technology
  • Learning analytics
  • Online education
  • Threaded discussion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Computer Science Applications


Dive into the research topics of 'A critical look at educational technology from a distance education perspective'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this