One of the conundrums associated with educational technology is that for all the power that is associated with the various tools, instructional practices are changing very little. An interactive whiteboard (IWB) can be used as little more than a glorified mouse pad in a teacher-centered environment. Blogs, podcast, voicethread presentations, and wikis require access---both in terms of internet filters, computers for students, and broadband. Few places have solved the management issues that arise from having cell phones as educational tools in the classroom. There may well be some stigmas attached to being "techie" in the classroom---or perhaps a resistance or philosophical basis to become so if there are other instructional models which work just fine.
Whatever the reason, there is a clear separation between those who embrace tech in the classroom and those who do not. Until recently, I didn't think the twain would meet. They still may not, but I came to terms with an awful truth this week: EdTech lacks a compelling voice. There are many superstars within the EdTech community, but they have come from within. There has been a lot of ridicule from this same community about Robert Marzano and his current foray into researching interactive whiteboards and other tools. While I agree that the circumstances for his research (i.e. being paid by a IWB company) do not engender trust for the results, the EdTech community has failed to recognize something very important: They need Marzano. Why? Because he is well-respected in the curriculum and instruction world---the one outside of technology...the one most schools and teachers live in. Marzano will be the first crossover star, much like artists that move between musical genres. It doesn't make his message any better, it just means that he will be a Pied Piper leading a lot more people toward EdTech...more than would have ever looked at the realm on their own. Those who have risen within the EdTech ranks are likely to be typecast there. A crossover will not happen from there---it must come from the non-tech side.
I am hoping that EdTech will make its peace with Marzano, instead of continuing to wage a turf war. If not, then I hope that they will find a partner elsewhere on the "outside" that they can work with. Pick a Wiggins, Stiggins, Tomlinson, or McTighe. Get a Reeves, Popham, or Guskey. Because until you capture the attention of that sort of leadership, you will not have their audience. You will not be seen as having a meaningful impact on instruction and assessment, no matter what you know to be true.