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Policy Implications of Education Informatics


by Jo Ann Carr & Nancy P. O'Brien — 2010

Background/Context: This concluding article identifies the policy implications of education informatics and explores impacts of current copyright laws, legislative structures, publishing practices, and education organizations. Synthesizing the discussions in the preceding articles, this article highlights the importance of designing information systems to promote open access to information in order to support scholarly communications and provide for the application of scholarship to practice within the field of education. Specific steps are proposed to further advance education informatics and to anchor it within constantly changing technologies in order to address pedagogical, curricular, and policy issues within education.

Purpose: This article is designed to propose future directions for the development of the field of education informatics and promote additional research.

Research Design: Information in this article is based on a brief literature review and an analysis of the interrelated implications of the articles in this issue for policy development in education informatics.

Conclusions: Although education informatics as a term has been used since at least 1980, there is limited literature about this term. This lack of discussion about the integration of education informatics principles and content in copyright and other legislation, in formal education, and in information dissemination practices indicates that education informatics has had little impact as a field of study within the discipline of education. Policy changes at the federal and state government levels and within educational organizations and associations will be needed to promote the development of education informatics as a core part of the discipline of education. Full development of the field of education informatics will require diverse policy changes by multiple audiences. One specific policy change that will be needed is strengthening collaborative copyright as part of the Copyright Commons. This and other changes should focus on improving access to current and historical education literature from both formal and informal channels for scholarly, practitioner, community, and policy audiences. Additionally, schools and colleges of education should create programs of study in education informatics. Consideration of user needs and mobile access to information should drive policy changes in the organization of classrooms, learning, and teacher educator programs. Most of all, policy changes need leadership that is guided by a commitment to the alignment of federal, state, regional, and local data distribution and to the creation of partnerships to align policy with practice and a vision of the role of education informatics in the discipline and practice of education.



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Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record Volume 112 Number 10, 2010, p. 2703-2710
http://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 15876, Date Accessed: 10/18/2017 8:14:44 PM

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About the Author
  • Jo Ann Carr
    University of Wisconsin-Madison
    JO ANN CARR is director of media, education resources, and information technology for the School of Education at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. As director, she oversees library, media production, computer services, shared learning spaces, desktop support, instructional consulting, and network services for the school. These diverse responsibilities place Carr in the nexus of information creation, organization, access, and technology resources. Her publication and invited presentation history includes information literacy, school library media centers, and the intersection of library and technology services in education. In 1999, she received the Distinguished Education and Behavioral Sciences Librarian Award from the Association of College and Research Libraries. Carr was also a member of the inaugural class for the Frye Leadership Institute sponsored by EDUCAUSE.
  • Nancy O'Brien
    University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
    NANCY P. O'BRIEN is head of the Education and Social Science Library and professor of library administration at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. With additional responsibilities for building and maintaining the collection of education resources in all formats and providing instruction and virtual and real-time reference service, O'Brien's use of education information is that of both a provider and a scholar. Her research and publications focus on the history, organization, and management of education and testing resources in libraries, with emphasis on access to, and the preservation of, historical education collections as part of our cultural heritage. In 1997, she received the Distinguished Education and Behavioral Sciences Librarian Award from the Association of College and Research Libraries. O’Brien is coeditor, with John W. Collins, of the 2003 Greenwood Dictionary of Education. See http://www.library.uiuc.edu/people/bios/npobrien for further information.
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