The Sage Encyclopedia of Educational Technology. Edited by J. Michael Spector. Los Angeles: Sage Reference, 2015. 2 vols. Alkaline $375 (ISBN: 978-1-4522-5822-5).

The Sage Encyclopedia of Educational Technology is an intelligent attempt to update and contextualize knowledge about the multifarious world of educational technology. Editor J. Michael Spector has broadly defined educational technology as “the application of knowledge to support the development of productive, thoughtful, and responsible persons” (xxvii). Three hundred scholars have contributed substantive articles that explain the diverse dynamics that contribute to our ideas about technology and learning. Learning theories, educational methods, research, and questions for future inquiry have been integrated into more than three hundred entries, covering a myriad of topics related to learners of all levels, including informal learners and learners in the workplace.

Articles vary in length from 1,500 to 3,500 words. All include “see also” references and suggestions for further reading. Articles are arranged alphabetically; but there is a detailed subject index and a helpful reader’s guide that classifies the articles according to twenty-eight major themes, including “Adaptive Learning Systems,” “Digital Literacy,” “Evaluation, Assessment, and Testing,” “Game-Based Learning,” “History of Educational Technology,” “Infrastructure Development,”“Mobile Technologies,” “Psychological and Social Issues,” “Simulation and Modeling Technologies,” and “Teaching and Learning with Technology.” This two-volume set also includes a resource guide that identifies important refereed journals and professional magazines vital to academic study of educational technology.

This encyclopedia should be of interest to students, faculty and professionals within the fields of education and training. “Change Agency” is an example of an article that stretches beyond the scope of educational technology. James B. Ellsworth traces the history of change agency, and delivers a concise literature review that summarizes various frameworks and important research since 1962. This article includes “see also” references for: Disruptive Innovations; Early Adopters; Innovators and Risk Takers in Education; Predicting Change and Adoption of Technology Innovations; Systemic Change and Educational Technology.

There are many articles that focus specifically on technology enhanced learning, such as Zervas’s and Sampson’s “Metatagging of Learning Objects and Apps.” This article defines “metatagging,” introduces classification systems and the standardization organizations, and explains metatagging methods.

Although most entries concentrate on the twenty-first century, “History of Educational Technology” and “Appendix A: Chronology” outline educational technology developments since ancient times beginning with the Abacus.

This is the only current and the most interdisciplinary encyclopedia devoted to educational technology. Rita Richey’s Encyclopedia of Terminology for Educational Communications and Technology (Springer, 2013) focused primarily on the terminology of the field, and while Lawrence A. Tomei’s Encyclopedia of Information Technology Curriculum Integration (Information Science Reference, 2008) covered methodologies, applications, and best practices; it is already seven years old.

The Sage Encyclopedia of Educational Technology should retain its usefulness for the next decade because of its scholarly quality and the breadth and depth of coverage on the application of knowledge and methods to support learning. It should be in all college collections, and be added to library discovery systems.—Valerie Mittenberg, Collection Development Librarian, Sojourner Truth Library, State University of New York


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