As education researchers we study:
- How we find information
- How keep information
- How we use information
- Who uses which information
- How we organize information
- How we judge information
- And, how we share information.
It just-so-happens that these are the very tenets of informatics. Regardless of content or discipline, it is through education that information itself is created or shared. Even if information is just “happened upon”, education plays a role in how this information becomes part of our memory, a part of our culture, how it becomes assimilated into our schemata, or even just in how it progresses from a fleeting interest to a sustained interest for individuals or societies. Education relies on the delivery, utilization, organization, retention and retrieval of information–the very definition of informatics. We’ve sailed the technology ballon d’essai over the curricular sea long ago. It’s time to move forward.
John Collins from Harvard and Sharon Weiner from Purdue have asked us this question: Why isn’t education informatics a subdiscipline of the field of learning? As researchers, we need to take the meta-view of the education-technology interface, beyond looking at the inclusion of technology within curricula. In Collin’s and Weiner’s terms, we need to set the example, to be the leaders in how we collaboratively use, organize, share, and diffuse education knowledge within a central repository of information. In these days of modding and mashing information, of fan fic and Java Script Libraries, I add to this that we also need to be the leaders in how we collaboratively create and/or find this information. Collins and Weiner propose a centralized repository that goes beyond ERIC, one that “promotes collaboration, sharing, and diffusion of information” (Collins & Weiner, 2010, p. 2533).